SpeakSonic album reviews: Justin Timberlake, Kid Cudi, will.i.am, Daft Punk, Mindless Behavior & Beth Hart
Justin Timberlake made a splash selling over 70,000 copies of his recent release The 20/20 Experience. Kid Cudi finally released the follow-up to his 2010 record Man on the Moon II with Indicud, a collection of tracks with notable featured guests and production by Scott Mescudi himself. will.i.am continues to prove he can exist musically without his Black Eyed Peas group with #WILLPOWER. Daft Punk elicits nostalgia of the ’70s with their highly anticipated album Random Access Memories. Ever heard of pop artists Mindless Behavior and the bluesy Beth Hart? You might want to check out their respective releases All Around the World and Bang Bang Boom Boom.
SpeakSonic delivers with this week’s bite-sized album reviews.
Justin Timberlake’s ’20/20 Experience’ is out now; watch the “Mirrors” music video [Update: Big sales]
Justin Timberlake’s ten track The 20/20 Experience is out now. It’s available for digital download at iTunes for $10.99, but if you consider yourself a true JT fan you will make the trip to Target to purchase the deluxe physical version that includes two bonus tracks ($13.99). Oh and by the way, the standard version, the deluxe version, and the vinyl all feature different artwork. (And there’s more where this came from; Timberlake has confirmed that a 10-track sequel album is in the works to complete the “20/20″ listening experience.)
Accompanying the grand total of 13 new tracks and the previously release music video for the Jay-Z assisted “Suit & Tie” is a new music video for the album’s second single “Mirrors.” The song is arguably the best cut off the release, and its music video does it the ultimate justice by telling a touching and engaging about an elderly couple exploring their long and journeyed relationship. The clip opens with a dedication to JT’s grandparents William and Sadie; his grandfather passed away last year after making it 63 years with his now-widowed wife. The Floria Sigismondi-directed music video does a fine job at interpreting the song’s lyrics:
Cause I don’t wanna lose you now/I’m lookin’ right at the other half of me/The vacancy that sat in my heart/Is a space that now you hold…And now it’s clear as this promise/That we’re making two reflections into one/Cause it’s like you’re my mirror/My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me.
That’s the hook and the actors who are portraying JT’s grandparents put on a believable performance as we watch their relationship blossom by a jukebox and a pool table. The video takes some twists and turns but by the end you should come to a realization of what it was all about: finding your soulmate and having the power to let go when the time comes (at least that is my interpretation). Intriguingly JT lets the story play out and is absent for the majority of the clip; he doesn’t turn up until the 5:45 mark when he catches the ring released by “his grandmother” (she’s letting go of her departed husband of so many years) to continue to legacy of love. He’s trapped in a fun house of mirrors and dances his way out of it in a fashion only JT can maneuver. A great song matched with a compelling music video; can’t really ask for more than that these days.
So how’s the album overall? For that I will guide you to SpeakSonic’s album review that covers the bases; spoiler alert: it garners a rave review.
Update (3/29): In its first week of sales, The 20/20 Experience quickly shot to #1 on the Billboard 200 selling 968,000 copies. This makes JT’s latest effort the best-selling album of the year so far outpacing Mumford & Sons’ Babel which has sold 658,000 to date. 20/20 also performed well in digital sales in week one with 452,000 downloads making it the third-largest debut indigital ever only behind Lady Gaga’s Born This Way (662,000 in 2011) and Taylor Swift’s Red (465,000 in 2012). JT’s third solo album is also his most successful debut, sales wise. His previous releases FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006) and Justified (2002) sold 684,000 and 439,000 copies, respectively, in their first week on the market.
To promote his upcoming new album The 20/20 Experience, the versatile Justin Timberlake visited Late Night with Jimmy Fallon for an entire week. So when Friday rolled around and viewers hadn’t seen a new installment of “History of Rap” yet you knew it had to be coming. And it did!! Fallon, Timberlake, and The Roots collaborated for a fourth time to span the history of rap to produce one entertaining medley that you never want to end. Before the performance begins, JT admits “But this is the last time…” and JF finishes his sentence “until the next time we do this” and then JT echoes that hopefully meaning that this in fact won’t be the final musical trip around the beat-driven genre.
And now, without further ado, I present “History of Rap Part 4.”
That post title–it’s like music to your ears. Justin Timberlake and ”Suit & Tie” featured artist Jay-Z are headlining a tour together. The “Legends of the Summer Stadium Tour” starts July 17 in Toronto and ends August 17 in Miami travelling through a total of 12 North American venues (the others include New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Hershey, Detroit, Baltimore, Boston, and Philadelphia). Tickets go on sale next week on Thursday, February 28 at Ticketmaster.com; if you RSVP to the event on Facebook you can gain access to presale tickets one day earlier. Also, if you obtain tickets using the Live Nation app you can snag tix on the 27th as well. All dates excluding the stop at Yankee Stadium will be available to the general public starting 2/28; New York sale information is “to be announced soon.” Jump after the break to view all the tour dates.
In addition to a summer tour, JT is exposing his brand in other ways. On March 9 he’ll be hosting Saturday Night Live for the fifth (!) time and he’ll also be serving as the evening’s musical guest. And from March 11 through 15 he’ll be featured on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Justin Timberlake shows off the moves we’ve missed in a music video that’s all dressed up in black and white and directed by The Social Network helmer David Fincher for the Sexy Back singer’s latest single “Suit & Tie.” Rapper Jay-Z breaks out a smoking cigar for the occasion and makes a cameo, too.
JT’s third solo studio album The 20/20 Experience is due out March 19; preorder at iTunes today.
New music: Destiny’s Child, David Bowie & Justin Timberlake [Update: JT's "Suit & Tie" featuring Jay-Z out now]
There’s new music to hear from artists you might have thought you’d never hear from again. First up is the musical trio Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams, better known together as Destiny’s Child. Before Beyoncé became her own star, she led a group that pumped out hit after hit in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Remember “Independent Woman,” “Survivor,” and “Bootylicious?” Well, apparently there’s more where that came from. Last Friday, Destiny’s Child released their first single since 2004 called “Nuclear.” It’s produced by Pharrell and rather than bouncing back with a thumping beat they’ve invigorated their new image with a soft R&B tune that makes you remember just how well these ladies can harmonize together. “Nuclear” is a track off a brand new compilation album from Destiny’s Child Love Songs. The 14-track album contains romantic-themed songs they recorded between 1997-2004. As you can see in the tracklisting posted after the break, “Nuclear” remains the only new material to be included. Listen to it, it’s embedded above. Beyoncé will reunite Destiny’s Child on-stage when she hosts this year’s Super Bowl half-time show.
To hear David Bowie’s new single and learn about JT’s comeback, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
Jimmy Fallon becomes Justin Bieber to sing “(It’s Not My) Baby”, teams with Timberlake for another History of Rap
If you’ve been following the last in pop culture news, then you should be aware that a 20-year-old California woman filed a paternity suit against teen idol Justin Bieber. Biebs is denying it of course, but that doesn’t mean late night host and Bieber impersonator Jimmy Fallon can’t play around with the hit single “Baby” and intelligently turn it into “(It’s Not My) Baby” noooo! Jimmy hits all the right notes and Roots rapper Black Thought plays a convincing Ludacris feature in the spoof embedded above.
From comedians Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer comes this hilariously NSFW public service announcement. Its goal is to get The Social Network star Justin Timberlake to return to making music.
Take heed, JT. If you wait too long, you can never bring sexy back back.
In the late 21st century TIME has replaced MONEY as the unit of currency. At 25 years old, aging stops and each person is given one more year to live. Unless you replenish your clock…you die.
Intrigued, are you? Read on for the synopsis:
When Will Salas is falsely accused of murder, he must figure out a way to bring down a system where time is money — literally — enabling the wealthy to live forever while the poor, like Will, have to beg, borrow, and steal enough minutes to make it through another day.
Pop star-turned-actor Justin Timberlake stars in this must-see sci-fi action thriller along with Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory), Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer (White Collar), Olivia Wilde, and Cillian Murphy. Andrew Niccol (Gattaca) directs. Watch an extended look at the film after the break.
In Time (originally titled I’m.mortal) hits theatres October 28, 2011. (Click here for more…)
Man am I glad that the rap medley performed by Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, and Late Night house band The Roots is certain to become a regular segment on Fallon’s variety show. Just when you thought the original “History of Rap” posted last October couldn’t be topped, version 2.0 rolls around and it is guaranteed to knock your socks off. Mash play and take a journey through hip-hop; the rapping duo tackle classics from N.W.A.’s “Express Yourself” and Cypress Hills’ “Insane in the Brain” to modern hits like 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” and DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win.” And that’s exactly what this is: pure win.
Using Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as a platform, Fallon, Timberlake, and The Roots perform a medley of classic rap songs. Oh, it’s good.