It's easy to forgive Timbaland for putting his solo career on the back burner during the late '90s; after all, he'd been incredibly busy, lending his track-master skills to some of rap's biggest hitters: Ludacris, Bubba Sparxxx, Aaliyah, Jay-Z, Memphis Bleek, and Snoop Dogg, as well as old friend Missy Elliott. Three years after Tim's Bio, hip-hop's most distinctive producer finally returned with another project, co-billed with right-hand man Magoo. Though it finds him caught between providing an outlet for his more experimental productions and trying to hit on his own, Indecent Proposal still succeeds on most counts. True, it starts off with the uninventive "Drop," but then moves into a set of productions certainly stranger than anything else in the world of commercial rap. Timbaland airs out one of the oddest vocal treatments ever heard on the languorous "Love Me," gets in touch with his P-Funk roots by replaying an early Funkadelic track ("I Got a Thing...") for "Baby Bubba," and pumps up the beats to match Jay-Z and Twista's excellent rhyme-trading on "Party People." "It's Your Night" and "Indian Carpet" both spin the Timbaland blueprint into new dimensions, the former with a quirky love jam and the latter with an infectious, inane chorus. Stuck at the end of the LP is the most eagerly awaited track -- "I Am Music" -- featuring one of the last performances from Timbaland protégé Aaliyah. (Alt-powerhouse Beck was originally slated to duet.) It's not an exciting track and comes as a bit of a letdown (the closest a conscientious producer would ever get to dripping the pop syrup of Puff Daddy), but it doesn't sink the album. Fans of the major-label rap game looking for more than scary strings and tedious rap celebrities will find it an intriguing diversion.
AllMusic Review by John Bush
feat: Petey Pablo