Monday, 18 March 2013

New Music Monday #44

The 20/20 Experience
by Justin Timberlake (2013)

Justin Timberlake teaming up with Timbaland once more. It's worked before, but that was almost seven years ago. Future Sex/Love Sounds solidified his status as a solo superstar in 2006 on the strength of hit singles 'SexyBack,' 'What Goes Around....' and 'My Love.' Does The 20/20 Experience have the same strong base of hits to match its predecessor? Truth be told; not so much... but that doesn't mean it's a bad album. It's just not quite as good as what's come before. JT appears to have mellowed during his hiatus from the music industry. He obviously still has that 'it' factor, but where's the excitement and energy behind his performance? The 20/20 Experience leans in a pro-slow jam direction, which is really just a nice way of saying that after the first couple of tracks, you could be a bit bored. Unless you really like slow jams. 

'Pusher Love Girl' finds Justin in his element; all debonaire charm and high falsetto. Thematically the track is a slightly more subtle version of Ke$ha's 'Your Love Is My Drug,' but it's all class. Being as good as it is, it's hard to notice that it clocks in at over eight minutes. Well done. 'Suit and Tie' has done well as a single and of course it was, being the big comeback track. This doesn't mean it's a great song and for those of us not riding a 'welcome back JT' wave of euphoria, we can willingly admit the reality of its mediocrity. Jay-Z's rap is also sub-par, makes little sense and includes the line, "tell your father we go farther as a couple." Timbaland's sound comes through on third track, 'Don't Hold The Wall.' Those middle-eastern touches and tribal drums have been a staple of his repertoire since the new millennium. We encounter a small problem here though. Only three in and the track lengths have begun to drag the quality of the songs down. 'Don't Hold The Wall' runs for a whopping seven minutes and eleven seconds. That's about three and a half minutes too long for me to want to sit through the whole thing, should it ever come on the radio. 

Picking things up slightly in the tempo stakes is 'Tunnel Vision.' One of the album's highlights and a love song that will keep his legion of female fans satisfied. Not in a gross way or anything, but that's their business I guess. Slow jam, slow jam, rejected Gloria Estefan number and then we get to 'Mirrors.' Like the opening track, eight minutes just flies by. Radio friendly without being bubblegum pop, a #1 hit already in the UK... this is the JT I want to hear more of. These good times come to an abrupt finish with 'Blue Ocean Floor' closing us out. An attempt at a Frank Ocean-esque sound? Probably not, but its alt-ballad edge falls a little short of the mark and, unlike 'Mirrors,' it drags on for what feels like an eternity.         

Mention must be given to lead-producer, Timbaland who, much like Timberlake, is a pretty talented man. He's been one of the most innovative producers in the game for almost two decades, but this is not his finest hour. Where's the boundary pushing material he gave to Missy Elliott in the late 90s/early 2000s? Where's the landscape changing beats that Nelly Furtado and Timberlake utilised to become superpop icons? Not here. It's all just a little too 'been there, done that' and that's disappointing when we're talking about Timbaland. Not as disappointing as Shock Value II, but still disappointing. 

The 20/20 Experience is indeed a welcome return for Mr. Timberlake to the world of music. It's just not an amazing one. If the rumours be true and he's prepping a second 2013 release for November, hopefully he plans on bringing some of the energy from the past with him. 

Matt Bond gives The 20/20 Experience three Britney's out of five...

by The Rafaellas

If you google The Rafaellas, there's a whole bunch of words appear in front of you that reference classic rock, 12 bar blues, lots of words about melody and sometimes you see meaningful words about "commentary and the tendency for society to define everyday life with restrictive labels". All these wrods are very descriptive and lovely, but ultimately, when I pressed play on The Rafaellas new single 'Words'; at 0:12 my feet started tapping, at 1:12 my fingers started drumming on my leg, at 2:12 I noticed the guitars that were starting me moving, at 3:12 I wish I knew the lyrics already so I could sing along and at 4:12 I pressed play again. You can describe a song with all sorts of words, but sometimes it's best to just listen....and really like what you hear.

Jo Michelmore gives 'Words' four Beatles out of five..

by Natalia Kills
Album: Trouble (2013)


There are two problems with this. One? I still find it difficult to like anything associated with, including his label signing, Natalia Kills. Two. Even at its average best, it still gets stuck in your head days later. The second problem is also an advantage, if you're Natalia Kills, I suppose. For people who I know, me singing this repeatedley is definitely a problem.

Jo Michelmore gives 'Problem' two Ke$ha's out of five...


by Iggy Azalea
Album: The New Classic (TBA, 2013)

Remember when Ke$ha released 'Tik Tok' and everyone tried to say it was a sign of of the apocalypse and the death of the music industry as we know it? I do. I remember it very well, because I liked 'Tik Tok' in all of its glitter-vomit glory. People actually said to me that they didn't know how music could get worse.Well suck it, nerds... worse has arrived, her name is Iggy Azalea and her anthem is 'Work.' The song itself is bad enough; blondie complaining that no one knows where she been and what she did and what she's been through. Dude, you're from Mullumbimby. It's not exactly the Bronx. The video? It's like some horror movie that combines elements of the clips for M.I.A's 'Bad Girls,' Ke$ha's 'Tik Tok' and Lana Del Rey's 'Ride.' Those videos worked. This one... not so much. I actually feel dumber for having watched this.

Matt Bond gives the 'Work' video one Dannii Minogue out of five...


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  5. Justin Timberlake Have released many up beats songs music and they have very well known in music industry. Hope to see their next music event soon in my area.

  6. Justin Timberlake is a great musician in industry. ANd The Raffaellas - Words is my best song which cause the popularity of this band in our city.

  7. The Raffaellas is an amazing creation of Timberlake. I really like their songs as well as have a selection of their songs thanks for discussing.

  8. Timberlake Have launched many up surpasses music songs and they have very well known in music business. Desire to see their next music event soon in my area.

  9. I hear some music of Justin Timberlake they really have some awesome music collection that help them to stay up to the top of musical industry. I am also a big fan of Justin Timberlake.


Love it or hate it? Agree or disagree? Let me know what you think!