Sunday, November 24, 2002
I was going to say that Ms. Jade was "merely" the Mya of rap, by which I mean that she rises and falls on the strength of her producers, hooks and guest raps like Mya does. Only then I remembered how often I like Mya-for-Mya - her bravely fragile ingenuity, her silky pristineness - whereas I still haven't quite worked out whether I like Jade-for-Jade much. Which sounds perhaps a bit harsher than I intend it to be, as does the fact that the word I'm grasping for might be "indistinctive" (or "generic"?). Jade is Lil' Kim without the intimidation, Foxy Brown without the neurosis, Eve without the insousciant skill.

Leaving aside the obligatory femme-to-femme comparisons, Jade reminds me a bit of Noreaga, startling me with the occasional great line or couplet, but otherwise being exceedingly competent at allowing her thick, faintly nasal flow to fade into the beat, rhyming so rhythmically on-point that it's barely there, just another sonic component (cf. um... Jay-Z? The way he raps against the groove, y'know?). Of course it always takes ages for the words to sink in for me, so I shouldn't be surprised that the only Jade moment that stays with me concretely is when she says "chet-tar" instead of "cheddar" for the purposes of rhyming. Although I quite like "the smell of money got my trigger finger acting funny" too, and her seductive drawl throughout "Big Head" is tops. Luckily for Jade the beats she fades into are usually pretty great so I'm prepared to stick with it and see if anything more memorable surfaces.

Timbaland produces all but two tracks on Girl Interrupted, and his presence heavily permeates every moment here (even the dirty bass-funk of the oblig. Neptunes track "The Come Up" sounds more like Timbo than their usual fare). Unlike his own or Missy's albums though he refrains from giving Girl Interrupted a consistent stylistic persona, and this flits from ethno-shimmer to grimey buzz to minimal intensity with an impatient bang-or-bust mentality. As a result the album is somewhat patchy, but it's also the most densely chromatic Timbaland album since maybe 100% Ginuwine (although with little of that great album's occasionial epic feel).

There's also some moments of startling greatness, my favourite of which may be "Dead Wrong", which reminds me of "Poppin' Tags" off the new Jay-Z album in that it tries to join together as many divergent production impulses as possible - in this case juddering stutter-beats, low-slung Nate Dogg croon choruses, hyperactive rave riffs and shrilly dramatic Indian strings - as if to say, "yeah, I'm the definitive modern rap track!" It's also a great showcase for Ms. Jade's aforementioned sensitivity to rhythm, as she subtly switches her flow between fast and slow, placing each word with perfect precision even if it's hard to care about what she's actually saying.

Also great: the fluttering, pivoting funk of "Get Away", which stops and starts with almost self-parodic intensity and enormity (that plus the brilliantly weird R&B chorus almost make up for Jade's moments of exceptionally awful rhyming). I'd love to give this groove to Eve, as it captures that same sense of strutting, unconcerned superiority as her best tracks, and she could probably match it with the attitude that Jade lacks.

Actually, no, the best track simply has to be the almost year-old advance single Feel The Girl - has Timbaland ever come up with a groove as mindcrushingly compulsive as this dancehall-falling-down-the-stairs beat? Probably, but when it's playing I'm unlikely to listen to reason (also, those weird Timbaland seagulls screaming throughout the chorus!). And another fine display of pacing from Ms Jade.

I might write more on this album later.


Post a Comment


everything here is by tim finney



mail me... here



Jamesy P

Patrick Cowley

It's About (Lopazz & Casio Casino's Maxi Mix)

Glass Candy
Sugar & Whitebread

Beats International
Dub Be Good To Me (Smith & Mighty Remix)

Depeche Mode
A Pain That I'm Used To (Jacques Lu Cont Remix)

Girls Aloud
Wild Horses


Bobby Valentino
Gimmie A Chance

Freeform Five
No More Conversation (Richard X Remix)


House Is A Feeling


A Wild Young Under Whimsy

And So This Is Christmas

Anthony Is Right




Bowling Ball

Breaking Ranks

Chantelle Fiddy's World of Grime

The Church Of Me

Cis Don't Like It Easy

Clap Clap Blog

Country Glamour

Cucina Povera

DJ Martian

Doubt Beat

Everything's Usable



Freaky Trigger

Freelance Mentalists

Freezing to Death in the Nuclear Bunker

Gel & Weave




The House at World's End


I'm So Sinsurr


Josh Blog


">Lex Scripta

Home of Matos

Must Try Harder

New York London Paris Munich

Orbis Quintus

The Original Soundtrack

Pearls that are his Eyes

Pearsall's Tunes

Philip Sherburne

Pop Life




Quicksilver Shapeshifter

Radio Free Narnia

Sasha Frere-Jones

Shards, Fragments & Totems

Silver Dollar Circle





Spliiiish (Atommick Brane)



Vain Selfish and Lazy

Why I Stopped Smoking


Words, Words (??????): A Catalogue of Errors

Worlds of Possibility



February 2004

January 2004

December 2003

November 2003

October 2003

September 2003

August 2003

July 2003

June 2003

May 2003

April 2003

March 2003

February 2003

January 2003

December 2002

November 2002

October 2002

September 2002

August 2002

July 2002

June 2002

May 2002

April 2002

March 2002

February 2002

January 2002

December 2001

November 2001

October 2001

September 2001

August 2001

July 2001

June 2001

May 2001

April 2001

March 2001

February 2001

January 2001

July 2000

June 2000

May 2000



Daft Punk


Ian Pooley


Artful Dodger

The Loft