Timbaland feat. Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake – Give It To Me

First Hit #1: April 21, 2007

The nice thing about being Timbaland is that you’re one of the most in-demand producers in 2007. That means that you have a great working relationship with hit makers of the era, doing album length collaborations with artists like Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake, for example. So when you want to do a solo album, you can get those high profile guests on the single. Give It To Me is almost an advertisement for the joy of making records with Timbaland, especially with the video that’s heavily focused on how much fun everyone’s having performing and making the track. Timbaland is really a producer first, and while he makes a great sounding song it’s not really lyrically interesting or the best showcase of either collaborator, but then again that’s kind of the point isn’t it? If he is a producer first he’s going to make a song that’s going to sound great in the club first, and the collaborators are just there to kind of gild the lily a bit, give the beat some context so it’s not an instrumental and it actually gets played in the club. If I sound a bit hard on the guy, well he did kind of get ubiquitous, but outside of that he really is a pretty decent artist for the era. His productions never feel low effort, and in some cases he can make something of genuine interest. He also is probably less interested in lyrics than most, and when he releases a track under his own name it becomes more obvious than usual.

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One Response to Timbaland feat. Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake – Give It To Me

  1. musicosity1 says:

    Yay, another song describing and exhorting club dancing!

    Of course, back at the dawn of the pop era, bandleaders were credited on the tracks rather than their soloists, but that changed in that late 1940s. Today some producers would like to be stars, but there are usually good reasons they’re known as producers. David Foster comes to mind. He’s done terrific pop work for decades, but live on stage, he comes across as smarmy and self-aggrandizing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e30dIcDuOi4). Michael Jackson’s producer Quincy Jones has had albums under his name from time to time, including some memorable tracks like this one with James Ingram: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKnlOgEIpBg. Brazilian bandleader Sergio Mendes had success stateside with his group Brazil ’66 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrZBiqK0p9E) and was still having US Top Five Singles under his name (rather than the singer’s name) in the early 80s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ad7EqJ3uMk is a shortened version for TV, but I like the whole thing.

    Timbaland pulls the neat trick of offsetting his sample rhythmically, so that its downbeat is at odds with the downbeat of his own song, upping the feeling of syncopation. and as you say having Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake along doesn’t hurt for either the sound or the video. The verse melody is a good line repeated too many times in a row, but I doubt anyone on the dance floor notices.

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