A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there's some sexual content and strong language on this excellent album. Families listening together can go for the edited version (better than most).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
On her sixth album, Missy Elliott is really flying solo for the first time; only a few of the tracks are produced by her former collaborator, rapper/producer Timbaland. Parental mileage will vary on the sprinkling of four-letter words, but Missy's irrepressible spirit is infectious. She is fully, energetically present on every track. Irresistible lyrics include "Hold up, I see a lot of folks in here sittin' round like your shoes too tight/If you wear a size 10, don't cram...in a size 6 ladies/be proud of your big...feet/We came to party up..." Cameo providers include Mike Jones, Slick Rick, Ciara and Fat Man Scoop, Mary J. Blige and Grand Puba, American Idol star Fantasia, Vybez Cartel, and M.I.A. Highlight tracks "Remember When" and "Teary Eyed" prove without a doubt that Missy Elliott is growing as a singer, as well as an artist and innovator.
Is it any good?
Missy Elliott has a reputation for being a hip-hop innovator. Although it becomes increasingly difficult for any artist to break new ground on CD after CD, THE COOKBOOK sparkles with Missy's signature attitude and humor. With star-studded cameos and female-empowering lyrics, track after glossy track delivers delightful and interesting musical surprises.
The album artwork is presented as though it were a cookbook, with sections described as Starters and Sides, Main Course, Desserts, and Liquid Refreshers -- and album credits appear under the heading "Nutritious Facts." This conceit somehow works; it ends up looking more classy than cutesy.