Missy Elliott Under Construction (Elektra) Missy Elliott is one of hip-hop's first true superstars. Her new offering is a flamboyant celebration by an artist proud to take on the role of a positive ambassador for a genre so often tainted by advocates of violence and racial disharmony. From the plain-talking introduction, in which Elliott proclaims 'Under construction simply states I am a work in progress . . . from the World Trade families to the hip-hop family we are all trying to rebuild ourselves', it is clear her message is not one of protest. Instead, we are treated to an uplifting collection of songs that pays homage to her music's R&B and soul heritage. This is never more evident than on the hook-filled Back In The Days, featuring the rhyming of big-name pal Jay-Z and some sneaky old-school samples, on which they extol the virtues of rap's innocent days. No hip-hop release is complete these days without a roster of guest appearances and Elliott doesn't let the side down, making room for Method Man, Ludacris, TLC, Ms Jade, Beyonce Knowles and 50 Cent. Elliott and her visionary co-producer Timbaland impress most noticeably with the slow, grinding groove of Go To The Floor and the chiming commotion of Bring The Pain, but thanks to Elliott's extraordinary showmanship, even the most un-committed hip-hop fans are likely to take to Under Construction in its entirety.