Kids have been in wait for an album of choice Neptunes beatmaking for, like, forever. Well, since that Clipse disc, at least. Whilst file-sharing actionists have collated Neptunian hits into tite sets for years, Clones marks the first real record sold on the strength of the iconic producers' estimable talents. The in-wait kids are now finally able to just put on a disc and let it all flow, not having to pull the Neptunes' choice work out of some famous human's CD that comes riddled with obligatory ballads and idiotic skits. Although, such said, you actually can't do that on Clones. In the midst of all this Neptunian mastery, there are two absolutely unlistenable "rock" songs that no fan of modern productionist fervor could possibly stand listening to. Whilst having Spymob contribute "Half-Steering...," one of their atrocious corporate-muso numbers, kinda makes sense, given that they've played a big part in the reinvention of N.E.R.D. from electro-funk space-geeks into some big-balled rock version thereof. But how do you explain away "F**k N' Spend" by the High Speed Scene, some woeful kiddie-punk cockheads who seem to have nothing at all to do with these Neptunes? The only explanation I can come up with is that these hip-pop discs are contractually required to have at least two moments of filler on every single album. Else, well, there's much choice shit. Best being the Rosco P. Coldchain cut, "Hot," where hip-hop gets stripped to its minimalist essence as he, Boo-bonic, and Pusha T trade rhymes over a beat composed of the most microtonal digital shuffle; the minimalism and Rosco's gruff microphone ramblings recall Sensational, while the austerity and amusicality of the beats seem consistent with the shit Dizzee Rascal's served up. Things here are so minimal that when Chad & Pharrell drop a hi-hat for a couple bars it sounds like an orchestral explosion. There's a similar minimalism sought out on the Busta Rhymes gear, "Light Your Ass on Fire," with industralist thunk and electro-zaps hitting the most post-bling rhythms; and, then, in a much more opaque mode, we're served a lazy/dirty/doom-ish turn to match the flaccid drawl of Fam-lay's ironically-monikered "Rock n' Roll," the droning tone making synths sound medieval over detail-fetishistic beatmaking. Whilst such things are hip-hop on a skeletal level, there's action here in which the works court more bright/brassy/Bomb-Squad-ish hip-hop production: the Clipse cut "Blaze Of Glory" being all those things in emphatic party-mode fashion; a bizarre brassy/freaked-out to-fro being bought to bare for Snoopy D to talk about smoking; and ODB making a Dirt McGirt return over some faux-harpsichording funk strut that plays out whilst sirens wail away in the background.