Timbaland: "Shock Value"
Producer: Timbaland
Release Date: April 3

While making bigger stars out of artists like Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake (not to mention Aaliyah, Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, etc.), Timbaland has also become a star in his own right. But thankfully, the Virginia beatsmith isn't looking to be taken seriously as an artist with his debut opus, "Shock Value." Just consider it art on canvas. Instead of pulling a one-man-only act, Timbo does what he's known best for, collaborating on off-the-wall dance, pop (lead single "Give It to Me" features Furtado and Timberlake) and hip-hop ("Come See Me" with 50 Cent and Tony Yayo) and even some haunting cuts ("Apologize"). The beats are uptempo, techno-driven and percussion-heavy, with his signature croaky ad-libs and hooks. Few have done the producer-album right (see: Pharrell), but when they do (Kanye, Dr. Dre), it's genius. "Shock Value" falls somewhere between those extremes. --Clover Hope