Goldmind/Atlantic - 2005 - 63 minutes
With her sixth album 'The Cookbook', Missy 'Misdemeanour' Elliott deviates from the usual favourites in her ingredients press, notably limiting the influence of long-time collaborator Timbaland.
Most probably an attempt to change the flavour of her studio albums, Missy's wide range of collaborators in every aspect of the album makes 'The Cookbook' feel a little disjointed at times. There are some stand-out great tracks but just as many very ordinary ones. And ironically the best track on the album, 'Partytime', is one of the two tracks which were produced by old-reliable Timbaland.
Many of the refreshing offerings on this come from Missy's collaborations, as with Mary J Blige and Grand Puba on 'Struggles' and Ciara and Fatman Scoop on 'Lose Control'. 'We Run This' is another of the especially catchy tracks on his album, with Missy's raps complimented to perfection by some slick musical arrangement.
And although she undoubtedly does what she does well, there's something about plain old Missy as a stand-alone artist - her tough, always-rhyming, raps - that really tires. Her continuing overuse of expletives seems to be the only thing that stops this from being easily branded 'safe' as next moves go.
With as many crowd-pleasers as apparent fillers, 'The Cookbook' serves up enough tasty options to ensure a second glance at the menu, but you may still walk away feeling hungry.
Tracklisting: Joy (featuring Mike Jones) - Partytime - Irresistible Delicious (featuring Slick Rick) - Lose Control (featuring Ciara and Fatman Scoop) - My Struggles (Featuring Mary J Blige and Grand Puba) - Meltdown - On & On - We Run This - Remember When - 4 My Man (featuring Fantasia) - Can't Stop - Teary Eyed - Mommy - Click Clack - Time and Time Again - Bad Man (featuring Vybez Cartel & MIA).