The Cookbook Goldmind/Atlantic Music •••• Sound ••••
Producer Timbaland was all over Missy Elliott's five previous albums, and the results were usually killer. Here, he shows up only twice, for the slow-simmering "Joy" (featuring Mike Jones) and the clanging "Partytime." But other production heavies (including Ms. E herself) also weigh in, turning The Cookbook into a tasty pot-luck dinner. Elliott's own studio chops pack old-school flavor into the spellbinding "Lose Control," backed up by Fat Man Scoop and Ciara. And a bangin' beat from Qur'an empowers "My Struggles," as Mary J. Blige and Grand Puba bolster Elliott's mock-drunken raps. No, we don't need to hear about her lover's "magic stick" during "Meltdown" - but overall, The Cookbook is yet another supa-dupa dish.