This Is Not A Test! - Missy Elliott

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. There's less space to breathe in 'This Is Not A Test!' than ever before - the beats are so relentless that just like the fiercest of the nu-prog bands it leaves you physically exhausted afterwards.
  2. This is what she does, really: talk clever, talk dirty, talk funny and, with Timbaland's dedicated assistance, annually expand the possibilities of what pop music can sound like.
  3. It's the album's end-to-end strength that speaks the most-- against hip-hop artists who fail to make solid albums and those rock idiots who say it can't be done.
  4. This Is Not A Test isn't perfect.... But it's plenty close enough.
  5. Why anybody would choose to spend their life without a copy of This Is Not a Test! is a mystery.
  6. Although she remains by far the most interesting figure in hip-hop, This Is Not a Test! has more filler than Elliott's allowed on a record since 1999's Da Real World.
  7. More than anything else, This is Not a Test! is a fun listen: Missy obviously enjoys poking fun at herself, and doesn't shy away from promoting a sexually empowered female persona.
  8. 100
    If last year's Under Construction was a little weird, then This Is Not a Test! is barking mad--in the greatest way.
  9. There's not any new groundbreaking here for the consummate groundbreaker, but when the music is this good, there's no way in hell that should matter.
  10. Equal parts 'round-the-way girl, futuristic dance diva, sonically progressive critical darling, and super-freak, Elliott has earned the right to tread a little water artistically, especially when the results are this fun.
  11. Missy and Timbaland give us what we've come to expect--the sexiest, most ear-popping, jaw-dropping fusion of old-school rap tribute, sparse R&B, mutant bhangra, and beat innovation on Planet Pop. [Feb 2004, p.100]
  12. Although [Test!] is predictably better than 90% of the year's hip-hop, it stands up less well against her own remarkable back-catalogue.
  13. 60
    Thematically thin and, consequently, lyrically disappointing. [Jan 2004, p.96]
  14. 60
    This Is Not A Test lacks feeling--besides beats, what else what does she care about? [Jan 2004, p.102]
  15. This has little future funk, but lots of Swizz beats-styled Casio Rap and contemporary chart dancehall. Which is lame.
  16. 40
    If she began coasting on 2002's Under Construction, here pop's most innovative black female is on repeat mode. [Feb 2004, p.72]
  17. 91
    Playfully sleazy, creatively reckless, and ridiculously, abstrusely, hyper-generously funky. [Jan 2004, p.95]
  18. It's true that Timbaland's signature style... doesn't seem quite as amazing as it did five years ago. Still, it gets the job done. [28 Nov 2003, p.124]
  19. There's no great leap forward--or backward, depending on your theory of pop--of any sort here.
  20. Like the market-minded collaborations that run rampant on hip-hop records, Elliott’s range here feels like base-covering.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Oct 5, 2013
    This is one of the best Missy Elliot albums. "This Is Not A Test!" has rapping and singing. Nobody will ever beat Missy Elliot, nobody will even beat this album. Full Review »
  2. ReyS
    Apr 17, 2006
    This is remarkable. I loved it. Not perfect, like Miss E... So Addictive, but with more filler, which is a good thing. Kinda of in repeat mode from Missy's World, though. Full Review »
  3. AndreaB
    Feb 24, 2004
    i love it