Oh, what's up JT? Nice of you to join us over here in the music world again. You abandoned us in 2006 after Future Sex/Love Sounds--quick note: that was seven years ago, and seven years is roughly the age of a first grader, so we are now a first grader's life away from the previous JT record--but that's okay, because you're back. You told us a few months ago that you felt "inspired" (or, maybe, a contract you signed obligated you) to make new music. Some people were stoked. Others weren't. But regardless, here we are, and your third studio album The 20/20 Experience--currently streaming on iTunes--is set to hit shelves on Tuesday. It's a hodgepodge of sonic trends over the past few years, and will probably take some time to fully absorb, process, and understand. But, because this is the year 2013 and this is the Internet, let's prematurely evaluate the hell out of it, shall we?
THIS WEEK'S SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: BETTER THAN CHRISTMAS.
THAT MERITS ALL CAPS. AND BOLD. AND UNICORNS. AND ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY IN THIS WORLD.
912 cameos happened! "Suit and Tie" happened, with Jay-Z! The Dick in a Box Guys happened! STEFON HAPPENED! You guys, I felt like a teenager discovering The Beatles on Ed Sullivan in 1964, the episode was that good. When you've got Dan Aykroyd, Alec Baldwin, Candice Bergen, Paul Simon, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Martin Short and Tom Hanks popping in over the course of your opening monologue there's nowhere to go but down, but Timberlake, who hosted SNL for the fifth time last night, was pretty much flawless from the get-go. He eulogized Chavez via a "Candle in the Wind" rewrite as Elton John. He Harlem Shook it while dressed like a giant hunk of tofu. He kept a straight face when he said "I woke up with my penis in a lion's mouth" while wearing a breastplate. (That Maine Justice sketch was awkward for everybody as I don't think anyone, including Jason Sudeikis and Timberlake, knew what was going on, exactly, but we'll forget about those unfortunate six minutes for the purpose of this recap.)More »
Justin Timberlake's comeback is exhausting. After a musical drought, it feels like we've suddenly been welcomed with a constant stream of JT news, appearances, performances, videos and Target commercials. From the initial release of his "prepare ye the way of the Justin" warning video on, he's been keeping himself -- and us -- busy every couple of days.
You can't really know where you're headed unless you know where you've been. For that reason, we're taking a look back at Pazz & Jop 2012 to drill down into the ballots of contributors and voters who participated. Maybe amongst the rubble we'll find clues about what lies ahead for music lovers in 2013. Here, Noisey's Drew Millard defends his ballot.
- Pazz and Jop 2012: Top Albums
So, Justin Timberlake and Destiny's Child dropped two singles over the weekend, and people who mostly grew up in the last decade rejoiced. Everybody else was like, "What the hell is this all about?"
Both these major pop entities haven't dropped new music in a long while. Timberlake, who hasn't released an album since that monster hit FutureSex/LoveSounds in 2006 and has been spending his time trying to be a movie matinee idol, had people worrying he might end up being the white-boy version of D'Angelo. Meanwhile, Destiny's Child hasn't released any music as a group since their 2004 album Destiny Fulfilled. I'm sure we all assumed the show on those three were over since Beyonce Knowles went on to become THE BIGGEST POP DIVA OF ALL TIME. So, why the hell would she need to get the band back together again?
-12 (More) Big Deal Albums We're Hella Excited For
-Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, And The Shifting Nature of Pop Star Fandom
-I'm A White R&B Singer From Red Hook, Brooklyn: Should I Even Bother?
In his recent review of R&B singer Miguel's fantastic Art Dealer Chic series of EPs, The A.V. Club's Evan Rytlewski explained the singer's rise in popularity by floating the idea that his 2010 album All I Want Is You contained "arguably the most engaging singles run of any R&B album since Usher's Confessions." This argument is much closer to the truth than it may seem on first blush.
Though the genre has experienced a bit of a downswing in the past few years, it's been a reliable source of great pop music since Confessions' release in March 2004. But is Rytlewski's claim correct? Let's look at the R&B albums with the best runs of three consecutive singles since the beginning of 2004 and find out.
But first, some ground rules: The three singles must have been released consecutivelya dud single at any point breaks a stringand off a single album (sorry, Ciara and Ne-Yo); each must have charted on Billboard's R&B chart; and the three singles don't have to be the first off the album, though on this list they all ended up that way.More »
VH1 spent last week counting down what the channel, and its panel of celebrities and "experts," consider The 100 Greatest Songs of The '00s. They certainly haven't been the first to assemble such a listRolling Stone and Pitchfork and every blog under the sun had their say about two years ago, and I recently put together a list of my 522 favorite singles of the decade. But VH1's take is noteworthy because the network has become the highest-profile outlet for the kind of listmaking that's gone from a music-geek compulsion to watercooler fodder in the decade since High Fidelity was adapted into a Hollywood movie.
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