Tag Archives: pop

Justin Timberlake’s ‘The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2’ Review: Album Of The Year?

13 Jul

The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2

Not many musicians would release a second album just six months after a massively successful one and a sold-out stadium tour with the reigning King of Hip Hop, Jay Z. But most musicians aren’t Justin Timberlake. “The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2” unfathomably tops its predecessor with an operatic exploration of soul, country, funk, R&B swaddled in JT’s legendary charisma.

If “The 20/20 Experience” was about the simple act of falling in love, 2 of 2 encapsulates the complicated work of sustaining it. The initial seduction is explored in the “Thriller”-esque “True Blood” and the ode to bedroom stripteases “Cabaret” featuring Drake. The darker times when love and hate are one in the same are referenced in the pain-smudged bluesy stunner “Drink You Away” and the scathingly badass rock-soul hybrid “Only When I Walk Away.” The sunny “Not A Bad Thing” details the happily ever after.

As with Experience, most songs are at least five minutes long with extended outros, which can enhance a track’s strengths or exaggerate its weakenesses. The last minutes of “Only When I Walk Away” is the audible equivalent to cubism, a raw, wild exploration of sound with robust drums and a funked up vocals. The closing riffs of “Not A Bad Thing” is another song entirely about flitting off in a cocoon of love, featuring Timberlake’s caramel voices, an acoustic guitar and a lush orchestra. On the flipside, the additional minutes renders the monstrous banger “True Blood” a little anemic.

Timberlake may rely a little too heavily on uber-producer Timbaland’s mad-scientist production, however, he also proves that beyond the smoke and mirrors burns an inferno of talent. 2 of 2 features Timberlake’s freest and strongest vocals of his career. The frills-free “Drink You Away” is unabashed Memphis soul steeped in a gritty country riff. And “You Got It On”-a showcase of Timberlake’s golden falsetto that rivals that of Maxwell and even the King of Pop himself-is a throwback to classic babymaking R&B. Along with the haunting “Amnesia,” these songs provide the ballads and slow tempos that the breezy “The 20/20 Experience” lacked.

As a whole, “The 20/20 Experience” is undoubtedly a platinum gem in Timberlake’s treasure-trove of a career, and more than likely the best album of the year. It also emphatically solidifies JT as an iconic musician among the greats that influenced him. Most artists directly reference their idols, but Timberlake’s varied inspirations resonate in the space between beats and the breaths between notes. While the musicality and vocals pay homage to Michael Jackson, Queen, Al Green, Marvin Gaye and others, the provocative execution is entirely Timberlake.

Grade: A+

Check out Timberlake’s video for “Take Back The Night.” “The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2” is available on iTunes and in stores now.

Photo Credits: RCA Recrods

Music Wrap-Up: Tupac Shakur Musical Coming Soon, Young Jeezy Changes Name, And More

14 Jun

Tupac Shakur

It’s Friday and here’s your music news happy hour. Here’s the news you may have missed this week.

Tupac “2Pac” Shakur musical coming to Broadway

You read that right! According to the Wall Street Journal, well known stage director Kenny Leon (“A Raisin In The Sun”) is gearing up to bring a musical based on the late west coast rapper Tupac “2Pac” Shakur called “Holler if Ya Hear Me.” Though the musical doesn’t have a theater yet, Kenny confirmed that 2pac’s family are in support of the musical and are on board with the project with 2pac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, standing as a producer. Kenny describes the musical as being an “unconditional love story” and insists that the musical will not be about 2pac’s life but more so his music. September 13 will mark the 17th anniversary of Tupac Shakur’s passing.

Miley was just being herself and making history, geez

Miley finally spoke out earlier this week regarding her much-publicized twerking in nude underwear while doing suggestive moves with a glammed up foam #1 finger. The interview was posted on MTV’s website and in the video Miley explained that she and Robin Thicke were looking to make history with their performance. She was even surprised that people were still talking about the performance days later saying that people were thinking about it more than she did when she decided to take the stage. “I didn’t even think about it because that’s just me,” she said. I can say with 100% certainty that everyone safely came to the conclusion that Miley wasn’t thinking, no confirmation needed on that.

Rapper Jeezy isn’t so “young” anymore

Southern rapper Young Jeezy has announced that he will be dropping the “young” moniker from his name. Jeezy spoke with MTV’s Sway Calloway for RapFix Live and explained that time has led to growth and that he no longer needs the “young” in his name. “It sounds good because when I came in the game that’s who I was and that was my state of mind, but I’m a grown man. Jeezy explained. “Those zeros get to adding up, you gotta drop the ‘young.'” Jeezy joins a long list of rappers who have opted to switch up their names including Diddy who changed his name from Puff Daddy in 2001 and most recently Jay Z who dropped the hyphen from his name.

Katy Perry premiere’s video for ‘Roar’

In Katy Perry’s new video, the singer gives us a cross between “George of the Jungle” and ‘Survivor.” She crashes in an intimidating jungle but soon learns to adapt to her surroundings and become the queen of it. She makes all types of friends including an elephant along with a capuchin monkey who in my mind is the chain-smoking drug dealing monkey in Hangover 2. Katy’s “Roar” is currently #1 on Billboards Hot 100.


Chime time! Are you looking forward to a 2pac musical? Are you over Miley Cyrus yet? What do you think of Katy Perry’s new video?

Photo Credits: MTV Networks

Katy Perry Dethrones Robin Thicke On Billboard Hot 100

14 Jun

Katy Perry-JTM-065007.jpg

Well done KatyCats and Kitty Purry for replaying “Roar” over and over. The fans and the radio stations across the nation have placed Katy Perry’s single “Roar” at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

As everyone should already know, “Blurred Lines” was the summer jam. The single held the top place on the Hot 100 chart for 12 weeks. I mean, Robin Thicke’s voice just makes any day better. Am I right, or am I right?

But, everyone’s time on the throne must come to an end, and Perry has nudged Thicke aside.

This record breaker puts Katy Perry at 8 Hot 100 No. 1 singles. As a gift to her KatyCats, I assume but most likely was pre-planned, Perry has released the official music video to “Roar.” The video is as fierce as the girl empowerment lyrics. Perry is shown surviving a plane crash and fearlessly fighting jungle creatures. While doing so, Perry looks ravishing in minimal clothing, the usual, with prints that imitate the life of George (from the jungle) who is stranded on a Hawaiian island.

In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Perry said the song is “about speaking up for yourself …Sometimes you can feel burdened by people or a thing or a relationship and it causes you to go inside yourself versus say ‘Hey! No, this isn’t okay.'”

Intrigued? Watch the video below to understand what Perry is trying to portray through “Roar.”

Photo Credits: Katy Perry YouTube

Madame Tussauds Unveils Four New Whitney Houston Wax Figures A Year After Her Death

7 Mar

Whitney Houston Wax Figure

Madame Tussauds debuted a series of four new wax figures of the late Whitney Houston on Thursday at their New York City location.

Whitney’s family was on hand to witness the unveiling, including her mother Cissy and Brothers Gary and MIchael and their wives.

The four new figures depict Whitney during the various phases of her career in music and movies and will reportedly be split up and relocated to some of the other Madame Tussauds museums in the U.S.

Whitney Houston Wax Figure

Houston’s smash hit ballad “I Will Always Love You,” from the soundtrack to her film The Bodyguard, was recently named the most popular love song in the U.S. according to a new Valentine’s Day poll from Harris Interactive.

The Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” came in second; while Percy Sledge’s “When A Man Loves A Woman,” Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful,” and The Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love” round out the top five.

Whitney Houston Wax Figure

Houston drowned in the bathtub of her hotel suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel prior to record producer Clive Davis’s annual Grammy Awards bash a year ago.

Davis throws his annual party at the hotel’s ballroom every year on the eve of the Grammys; and this year organizers invited the late singer’s mom, who wasn’t too pleased with her invitation.

“I got an invitation to the party, which is the most obscene thing…” she said at the wax figure unveiling. “I don’t know why they would want me to come to the party where she died.”

Whitney’s brother Gary and his wife Pat, who was her manager, will be attending the party, however.

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