As if having every other form of entertainment be usurped by an obsession with everything vampire-related wasn’t enough, Timbaland looks to Twlight, True Blood, and the like as a major influence on “Morning After Dark”, the official first single from his Shock Value 2 album.
Part Anne Rice-inspired sex tale, but mostly a run-through of Timb’s usual bag o’ dizzying polyrhythmic tricks with the he say/ she say treatment that’s defined most of his popular output, “Morning After Dark” sees the mega-producer enjoying a “3P” of his own with pipsqueak-voiced duo Nelly Furtado and newcomer/ Mosley Music protogee SoShy playing bob and weave to the track’s restless drum shuffle and synth sprinklings.
Unfortunately, despite the trio’s best efforts to muster up some nocturnal heat amongst themselves, none of it really lands as anything all that especially exciting or even necessary (sort of like another A-list-affiliated SV2 album leak), but we’ll at least admit to it’s Euro-goth sizzle latching onto a competent club fizz, while the spiraling hook (where Tim tackles an interesting Bootsy Collins-esque yowl) eventually needles it’s way into your brain.
“Morning After Dark”:
One recently revealed Timbaland-produced number that is worthwhile (without the aid of repeated listenings) is “Skycap”, a Mary J Blige-led number that was originally conceived for, and eventually denied placement on, her 2007 Growing Pains album. A foolish move, we might add, since having this amongst it’s tracklisting could of easily scored that set a second major hit beyond “Just Fine”.
Atop a hypnotic beat of lively percussion/ drums and what sounds like a swarm of evil goblin children chanting “I’m falling” while being flushed down a toilet (oh, how our imagination makes us giggle sometimes), Mary J starts off throwing down like she used to back in her pre-“No More Drama” days, as she looks back on a couple of old relationships gone sour (“The first love I let inside my life/ Had me afraid to fly/ Had my head in the clouds/ And meanwhile he let me crash…”).
But before you get a chance to seriously worry over (or celebrate, depending on your stance) the soul diva regressing back to a previous era of endless tear-stained, no-good-men-littered R&B melodrama, Blige is rescued from her depression by a knight in shining armor, one who isn’t easily scared off by all of her “baggage” and brings with him “a first class love” so great, she feels like she’s soaring through the clouds above. “I don’t even wanna land/ Got myself a helluva man,” she sings, an infectious joy just beaming off her every note.
We’ll never understand why this one was left on the cutting room floor.