FREE MP3 DL: Black Eyed Peas’ “Where Is The Love? (DosLambos From Nowhere Remix)”

It’s safe to say that I never wanted to hear Black Eyed Peas’ “Where Is The Love” again, but it was the song that made the group move away from the good stuff they were doing to the substandard music that finally made them rich. DosLambos felt enough for the song to say “you know, the song isn’t bad at all, let’s remix it” and this is the result. I honestly feel this is better than the original so be careful.

VIDEO: Justin Timberlake’s “TKO”

I’m almost two weeks later, but I generally stay from the mainstream so I wasn’t aware Mr. Timberlake had made a video for “TKO”. I realize that with an accumululation of 12,000,000 views that his placement on my site is a mere blip but I support him, I like his music and thus if you weren’t aware, now you are. The song is from the second half of The 20/20 Experience album (my review of which can be read by clicking here.)

REVIEW: Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience (2 of 2)”

 photo JT2020Two_cover_zpse29f502f.jpg Time seemed to go by fairly fast between the moment the first 20/20 Experience dropped and the second one made itself known. The first volume in this new Justin Timberlake musical saga ran a little over an hour, so to have an extra hour of music seemed awesome, gratifying, and insane. With the first volume, I felt Timberlake had created the perfect definition of an album, a risk in 2013 when most pop fans aren’t flocking to albums as people used to. People have continued to bash Timberlake for whatever reason: being white, being a country boy, and being someone he isn’t so he decided to challenge the naysayers. For The 20/20 Experience (2 of 2) (RCA) he decided to embrace what the naysayers are saying about him and to throw it back at everyone.

I liked the first Experience a lot so as I started listening to the second installment, I thought a few things. At first, I didn’t think these songs were that good, at first. Obviously, by calling the albums a 20/20 Experience, he wants us to get a full vision of what he’s trying to create but I wondered “is this just too many extras? Are these just songs that should’ve been left to be bonus or non-LP tracks?” The one thing that was immediate: Timbaland. His style is great and you know it is his sound that is being heard, and that made up for what I was feeling with the first two tracks. What changed things was the third track, one that featured Drake called “Cabaret”. I’m not what you’d call a Drake fan but I’ll listen, and his performance here is fairly decent. The pairing here works, and that was the moment the album got better and more interesting. While Jay-Z makes an appearance on the Experience with “Murder”, his references to John Lennon and Yoko Ono seemed half-assed and misinformed, and I felt that in a world where anyone and everyone can do a search on Google, he is someone who came off as clueless as J. Lo in the claim that Ono had what it had taken to break-up The Beatles. Incorrect, Mr. Carter, put on a dunce cap for that.

There are three noticeable things on this album that stood out from the rest of the material. “Drink You Away” has a very strong country feel with gospel roots, but it could also be a blues song. To me, it seems that if Timberlake senses his style of soul/pop could lose a following, he could always move over to the country side. It wouldn’t be a problem, and maybe people remember that photo of him with Britney Spears where they both showed off their denim duds. He most likely grow up with a good share of country too and this could easily become a song he performs next year as part of a collaboration with a country artist at next year’s Grammy award ceremonies. Or do a country remix with Lady Antebellum or Little Big Town. I can see it, and he should do it. The other thing is the rock feel of “Only When I Walk Away”, which for some reminded me of Janet Jackson when she did “Black Cat” and how people felt it was a stretch, a challenge, and a risk. One might argue that that can be said for Timberlake, which will lead others to say “well he’s white, he doesn’t have to worry about risk” but still, rock isn’t familiar to most even though he once played bass with the Flaming Lips for a television performance. Why shouldn’t any artist be able to play around with genres and have fun? By the time the album gets to this point, the mood of the album had gone beyond fun.

The third thing I noticed happens in the last third, where lyrically he starts to get more aggressive and swears a bit, as if he’s trying to show a hip-hop edge or by being a rock’n’roll bad boy, but I wondered if it was truly necessary. Timberlake can be whatever he wants in his music, and yet I have always felt he had been reserved and pushed himself to an established limit and never went past it. I’m old enough to full understand what those vulgarities mean, I do not need a parental advisory but I don’t think the songs really needed them, as the attitude he wants to establish is already there. Fortunately, this feeling isn’t something that happens throughout but maybe for Timberlake, this is very much a part of the Experience that he wants to share, that full vision that allows listeners to understand where he is coming from, even if some of those elements are unnecessary.

In comparison, the second Experience is good but not as good as the first. As a whole, both Experiences are masterful and are this generation’s Use Your Illusion, displaying an artist who is willing to share his heart and soul to everyone, and to see how far he can and is willing to go. At the same time, some of the songs here can be considered seeds for where he could find himself next. He doesn’t have to kowtow to anyone, and I feel Timberlake could make any type of music at this point and be a success, and I’m sure he is confident in knowing this. Anything he does could be considered a risk, and yet he is a risk taker doing the tasks by his own rules, within his own limitations, which are probably non-existent. A lot of music today is marked with designer labels, but it’s nice to hear a major label artist pulling off the kind of things today that were once part of the norm in the music industry years ago, while still understanding the standards that once were. To be limitless while holding to the limits shows incredible restraint, and one wonders what would happen if he really let himself go. Maybe that is his full vision, The 20/20 Experience in its grandest form. If we allow ourselves to fully see, imagine what would happen if we allowed ourselves to fully listen.

FREE MP3 DL: Justin Timberlake’s “GRVNGHT (Just Nine Remix)”

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This remix reminds me that I should do the remix/edit I had wanted to do for this song but DJ Just Nine has come to the rescue to create his own of JT’s “Let The Groove Get In”, possibly my favorite song on The 20/20 Experience (my review of which can be read by clicking here). Download it while you can.

VIDEO: Justin Timberlake’s “Take Back The Night”

It’s new, it’s rich, it’s a new Justin Timberlake video from his forthcoming album, and he’s hanging out in Chinatown to make the magic even more magical. It’s a feast of gau gee min, ask for an extra plate.

OF NOTE: This track reminds me a bit of Jermaine Jackson’s “Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming (Too Good To Be True)”. Feel free to compare it to whatever you like.

SOME STUFFS: Cable Car turn a Justin Timberlake slow jam into a pop gem

They’re a 3-piece trio from Los Angeles called Cable Car, and while they have a new EP out now called Ride, they also wanted to cover a song from Justin Timberlake’s latest album, The 20/20 Experience. The song they chose was “That Girl”, and the pop interpretation is sure to be pleasing to many

VIDEO: Justin Timberlake’s “Tunnel Vision”
Justin Timberlake has limited the single output of his 20/20 Experience album (my review of which can be read by clicking here) to only two songs, although I’m sure that’s not stopping some radio stations from playing album cuts. Nonetheless, here’s the third video so far for the album, one that requires a “Parental Advisory” because of its explicit nature. According to the articles circulating this morning, the video was banned by YouTube, which is the modern day equivalent of your video being banned on MTV (when MTV banned music videos, and when MTV played videos). However, with outlets such as Vimeo and Vevo, there are many alternatives, which is why the video now has a home on both Vevo and Vimeo for all to see, and you may now view it here.

REVIEW: Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience

Justin Timberlake photo JT2020_cover_zpsaa01d6a8.jpg Like many, I’m someone who looked forward to hearing what Justin Timberlake would be doing with his third album. It has been almost seven years since his last release, during a period in the music industry where if you don’t have new music every three months, you’re considered a has-been. Arguably, Timberlake has the luxuries of not having to bow down to the industry at all, but there comes a time when the demand is great, be it from the public or your own. Timberlake has always been someone, at least from interviews, who loves music. He had wondered why MTV doesn’t cater to more music at a time when they have become everything but music, to no avail. With the release of “Suit & Tie” as a first single, the reception from it was enough to reveal what everyone had already known: don’t call it a comeback, he’s been here for years.

The 20/20 Experience (RCA) is a unique album for a number of reasons. It is very much a pop album, but its roots are very much in soul and that soulful touch is never distant from these songs. It is also a reflection of the soul music and albums that once were dominant in the 1970’s. The album consists of 10 songs, what used to be considered the ideal album length, but can you release a 10-song album in 2013? If you’re Timberlake, you can. If fans felt his FutureSex/LoveSounds had songs that were too lengthy, you may want to watch out for these tracks, as seven of the songs are over seven minutes in length. That might not be the path most artists are taking today, but I’m glad Timberlake feels confident enough to go at it with these lengths, and it works very well. The Wikipedia entry for the album has Timberlake quoted as saying “If Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin can do 10-minute songs and Queen can do 10-minute songs then why can’t we? We’ll figure out the radio edits later.” As someone who enjoys it when an artist explores music and themselves with a long song, this is truly ear candy.

What exactly is The 20/20 Experience? Perhaps for Timberlake, it’s a collection of songs that brings together his full vision of what good music can sound like. With Timbaland handling all of the production on this, it was already a guaranteed hit from the start although there are some fans and critics who may not have been pleased with some of Timbaland’s productions in recent years. His sound here is a mixture of what he did successfully with Magoo, Missy Elliott, and Timbaland in the late 90’s, the best of what he had done with Timberlake before, but also a few new things for this new album. It’s not reliant on sampling other people’s work, although samples do exist. A good amount of the sounds are played by him and his musicians, including what may sound like samples but are not. I found myself listening to this tracks and wondering what a 34-year old Aaliyah would have sounded like if she was alive today, whether as her own tracks or doing back-up for Timberlake. What also made these productions work is not just the sound for each song, but as one cohesive piece of work. It’s solid from start to finish, and it flows beautifully.

As for Timberlake, I’ll keep track of what people are saying on Twitter and Facebook considering who he is trying to copy these days, everyone from Robin Thicke to Mayer Hawthorne. It’s as of Timberlake wasn’t doing this since “Like I Love You” or “Cry Me A River”, if not during his time with *N-SYNC. That sweet falsetto voice is one of Timberlake’s trademarks, and he’s a champ at it throughout this album. In a track like “That Girl”, it almost sounds like he’s trying to carry himself with a Prince vibe, complete with lowered background vocals that is straight out of Prince’s multi-track playbook. Part of it also seems to be a reflection of Timberlake’s Memphis roots, if the nice Stax vibe is any indication, although I also sensed a bit of Staples Singers in the vocals too. “Let The Groove Get In” has a nice Brazilian influence too, but I also sensed that there might be an Earth, Wind & Fire groove involved as well, which might make sense if who he’s trying to cite in the song is Maurice White, who was born in Memphis. In the second half of the song, the track seems to go into a transformation (similar to a DJ segueway) between Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Runnin” and Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”, as if he’s exploring the beauty of that period in music between 1977 and 1979. The album version of his latest hit, “Mirrors”, is eight minutes in length and while the first half shows how well his talents travel in the pop world, I love how the song seems to dig a bit deeper in it second half, with background vocals that shows hints of Missy Elliott. The album beautifully ends with “Blue Ocean Floor”, where he gets poetic and talks about a love that he hopes and wishes will be eternal:

If my red eyes won’t see you anymore
and I can’t hear you through the white noise
just send your heartbeat out there to the blue ocean floor
where they find us no more.

It uses the ocean as a metaphor for a mystical and mystical place for romance and companionship, as a final resting place for an everlasting love. Earlier in the album he’s comparing parts of her body to a snack (“Strawberry Bubblegum”), as well as his own (“I’ll be your blueberry lollipop”). It gets very sensual at times but it’s quite playful in its execution. Also playful is the musical games he and Timbaland play sometimes, this is very much an album that was mutually and organically created. What I found great was the play in “Tunnel Vision”, where Tim will say “I got that”, followed by Timberlake singing “tunnel vision for you”, only to lead to someone saying “I know you lyin'”, as if they’re just shooting the shit with each other but understanding exactly what they’re doing. They compliment each other quite well, and it’s the small minutiae in Timbaland’s productions that Timberlake seems to help spotlight and magnify with great results. By the conclusion of the album, the sensual and romantic tones get serious before it ends where the song itself sounds like it’s sinking underwater. Listeners may find themselves wanting to get lost with Timberlake down on the blue ocean floor.

The 20/20 Experience works on so many levels, not only as a solid pop album, but as a soul album, one that is heavily influenced by the music he has listened to over the years. One can listen to it as “two sides”, in the old way where the songs are divided evenly, in this case the first five songs being Side 1, the last five being Side 2. What I also loved is how in-depth these songs are, and the fact that I’m able to listen to two halves of a song, or hear a song with different movements within. It goes back to those classic albums by Pink Floyd, Yes, or King Crimson from the 1970’s where you were at one with the artist because you put faith in their journey and experiences expressed. Too much music these days will go through the same style and tone for four to five minutes, but Timberlake is taking these tracks on for six to eight minutes. Just as one may get used to a certain style or feeling, he and Timbaland will switch the song into something else and take you up a few notches. It sounds like Timberlake is traveling and taking the listener around the world with him, so that you can “see” what he sees, hears, and feels. In the album’s second half, the music comes off like he’s returning home, if a sense of home can be sensed through the vocal and musical stylings, and the fantastic production. In other words, Timberlake may be a world traveler to most, but home is where the heart is, and his heart seems to be in a very good place, metaphorically and realistically. If radio edits are a concern, that’s fine, for it would be easy for someone to create edits for potential singles. I feel the strength of these songs would allow Timberlake to get away with having a 7-minute hit, which is unheard of in 2013 but not impossible. The 20/20 Experience is a well-crafted album that a lot of artists will have to fully examine in order to discover and rediscover what great music is about, and can be about. This is a fantastic representation of an artist showing a few people “a good thing”.

RECORD CRACK: Jimmy Fallon reveals vinyl design for Justin Timberlake’s new album

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Throughout the week, Justin Timberlake will be performing on NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon in promotion of his forthcoming album, The 20/20 Experience (RCA). In last night’s episode, host Jimmy Fallon revealed for the first time the packaging for the vinyl pressing of the album, which has different cover graphics. While the CD and digital versions feature Timberlake behind an optical phoropter machine, the vinyl pressing reveals his profile away from it. Fallon also opened the cover to reveal its gatefold.

If you missed last night’s performance, you may watch Timberlake do “Pusher Lover Girl” below, or you may click to or to watch the episode in full.

COVERED: Elvis Costello vs. Justin Timberlake

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This week, on March 17th, marks the 35th anniversary of Elvis Costello & The Attractions’ second album, This Year’s Model. The album cover is notable for featuring Costello snapping a photo with his now-well-known pair of glasses. The UK had one version with Costello holding his left hand out, along with the design being off-center and containing color bars on the right side, exactly like someone printing a magazine or album cover, but an inch off from its intended position. The US version doesn’t have the extra “error” and uses an alternate photo from the session, with Costello crouching down towards the camera for the perfect shot. It is the album that featured songs like “Pump It Up” and “(I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea”. The US version featured the song “Radio, Radio”, which was my first exposure to his music when I saw the video in a special TV section build outside of a record store at Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu.

Singer Justin Timberlake was on last night’s Saturday Night Live not only as the guest, but its musical guests. A very funny show, one of the placards shown in between segments featured Timberlake with a camera and nerdy glasses, thus honoring Costello and (whether it was intentional or not, I’m not sure) the 35th anniversary of This Year’s Model.

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It shows that when it comes to pop music, Timberlake’s aim is true as well.