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“DD Review: Missy Elliott – ICONOLOGY.”

Score: 7/10

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Right away to Missy’s credit on this new five-track EP, which marks her first collection of new material in 14 years (although the apt will remember that “Where They from” track from ’15), the title seems to speak back to hip-hop greats — all the guy legends as well as allusions to herself, with quips on opener “Throw it back” like “Flip it and reverse it”. She makes her presence felt further on the last verse with some snarly vocal jabs like “I did records for Tweet / Before y’all could even tweet” and “Every night is still lady’s night” and overall this track is a resounding success, with a beat from Timbaland that sort of splits time between trap and trip-hop (trip-trap)?

“Cool off” opens a little more like a jock jam, still funky but kicking the tempo with some busy, Pharrell-sounding kicks and hats. It’s almost like the producer on this song (of which the overall production team consists of Timbaland, Will Hendrix and Missy herself), like Pharrell, leans toward those hats as a way of balancing out those kicks with some high levels on the register. Missy’s flow here though is bionic and sultry, infusing this track with its vital energy which probably rolls out as more of a workout song or quarters-flipping drinking song than club banger, with the beat that’s more Cubist than trance-y.

“DripDemeanor” is more like an R&B jam with a sung vocal in the chorus by a woman named Sum1. Missy is getting lewd and juicy all over this cut, luring guys so that even if she is just bull-shi**ing, it makes for a playable track that a lot of girls will want to listen to in their cars with attitude, at least until the guys call them out on it. On the production of this song, too, we get our first noteworthy appearance of hand clap.

“Why I Still Love You” is an entertaining neo-soul, sans-rap romp with some boisterous, almost comedic hand claps taking over the percussion duties at the busiest moments. Also it gives way to the last track, an a capella version which is certainly a brave expedition but at least shows she wasn’t leaning on the producers too much. What I would have liked to hear more of on this EP is earnest, real-life experience, and you have to admit, for Missy to come in and be this cocky on her first album since ’05 is a little bit ridiculous, though maybe that’s part of the entertainment factor.

 

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