Missy Elliot is now three albums deep, and I've finally figured out that Elliott is more soundsmith than wordsmith. Approaching her work as simple hip-hop shortchanges Elliott's skill as an artist. It took a few listens to the new release, MissE . . . So "Addictive," to bring about this particular epiphany.
Along with her production cohort Timbaland, Elliott continues to defy hip-hop expectations with unconventional sounds. From the staccato, Indian-flavored hit "Get Ur Freak On" on, So "Addictive" jumps around musically, showing off diverse influences -- from the underground-club feel of "Scream" and "4 My People" to the contemporary gospel number "Movin' On" with Yolanda Adams and Mary Mary. While Elliott is a decent MC, her average skills distract from the exquisite sonic architecture Timbaland constructs for most of the songs.