Missy Elliott - 'Iconology'

7/10

Despite not releasing a new album since 2005's 'The Cookbook', Missy Elliott has been far from retired these last few years. After making a surprise comeback in 2015 with her brilliant club thumper 'WTF (Where They From)', the US queen of rap has spent the last few years dropping the odd solo single while also finding time to collaborate with the likes of Lizzo, Ariana Grande and Janet Jackson. And just as things are beginning to heat up for the frontwoman again, she now unveils her new EP 'Iconology', a five-track reflection that looks to reestablish her on the throne she throughly deserves.

But rather than feeling like a fully-formed new collection, 'Iconology' plays more like a road-test for her new material. Each track on this new release has a diverse and recognisable contrast to every other cut on here, showing that this return is more about rediscovering her sound in this new era rather than a complete return. But despite its varied and eclectic nature, each single manages to balance the classic Missy flair with a contemporary style that sees her look to adopt the new movement of hip-hop while also managing to pay lip-service to her longstanding fanbase.

What seems most exciting about this new collection is that definitely feels like the beginning to so much more. Even though it only runs for five tracks (and one of those is an acapella), this feels like Missy Elliott has plenty of thoughts about her next direction and is just looking for the right tone. 'Iconology' is very much an appetiser to a main course that we have been waiting for for fourteen years, and it finally feels like we are closer than ever.

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