Before popping in the The Cookbook, I tried to clear my mind; tried to listen without expectations. It was tough. Get Ur Freak On… Work It…Pass That Dutch…Ficki Ficki… snap out of it dude. After a few pointless moments of focus, I gave up.

The Cookbook is a well thought-out mural of musical frivolousness. The characteristic scratches, flawless mixing, and get-yo-back-up-off-the wall beats are all there. Timbaland is in the zone on this cd. The first single Lose Control feat. Ciarra and Fatman Scoop jumps things off nicely, setting the mood for an album filled with throbbing, sweaty tracks. But it’s the albums first track that lets you know real quick: Missy is here to do more than party. She’s here to express herself as only she can. Joy couples Missy’s playful wit with a seductive beat. And just when you’re ready to chill for real, Mike Jones (who?) yes, Mike Jones jumps on and rides for H-Town like a veteran. Partytime features none other than Slick Rick himself. This track is vintage Missy, and Mr. Ricky adds a touch of class.

Missy takes a pause just long enough to get introspective on My Stuggles, with help from Mary J. Blige and Grand Puba. She gives a look into her childhood, and how she came to be so supa-dupa-fly. If that isn’t hot enough to take you back to the days of 411, MJB actually kicks a verse. Of course, there’s the obligatory sex song, Meltdown which comes complete with explicit references to all sorts of male genitalia.

Missy is definitely feeling herself, perhaps more so than in the past. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little annoyed with the constant reminders that Mis-Mis-Misdeameanor’s in the house. And the creativity is almost overshadowed by the numerous pop culture references to industry big names:

Think I’m in Love, Like Beyonce be with Jigga
Not his major figgas, just want him to be my nigga…
I can play Janet you can play J.D.
If you like Beyonce you can play Jay-Z…


Click Clack is one for the streets: a hard, dirty south beat that makes you appreciate her versatility. Missy rocks the party on We Run This, a fun throwback party track featuring the classic party beat to Jam On It. She also represents for all those women out there in serious relationships, with 4 My Man feat. Fantasia. Can’t Stop actually has a rock beat, and she certainly displays her eccentricity on Bad Man which features a Sri Lankan electro/ bhangra artist known only as M.I.A. Remember When tackles a twist on cheating, while Mommy, and Teary Eyed round out the disc on a semi-somber note. However, the contrast reflects her true talent and musical integrity.

Missy Misdemeanor Elliot has done it again. Despite all the awards, a reality television series, and a mega clothing deal with Adidas, Missy has found time to produce another guaranteed hit album. Missy shows whys she’s easily the most creative, and quietly one of the most talented female emcees on the market.

Album drops 7.5.05.