Results for Justin Timberlake

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Bubblegum Pop

Bubblegum Pop acts like Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers are all the rage now, but a look back at the history of rock shows that teen and tween-oriented acts have always dominated the charts. Ever since music executives discovered how successful you could be marketing to kids, they have been manufacturing Bubblegum Pop acts for each new generation. But while not all of these teen idols can claim to be artists, many produced terrific, upbeat, well-crafted songs. Here are some of Jim and Greg's favorites:

  • Ricky Nelson
  • 1910 Fruitgum Company
  • Ohio Express
  • The Archies
  • The Banana Splits
  • Jackson 5
  • New Edition
  • Boys II Men
  • Backstreet Boys
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Naked Brothers
  • Hilary Duff
Go to episode 155
reviews
FutureSex/LoveSoundsFutureSex/LoveSounds available on iTunes

Justin Timberlake FutureSex/LoveSounds

The final bit of news is the release of Justin Timberlake's second solo album, FutureSex/LoveSounds. The ex-teen heartthrob is all grown up and has aligned himself with producer Timbaland, as well as Rick Rubin and will.i.am, for a darker, more cutting-edge — and yes, sexier — sound than 'N Sync fans are used to. He's also launched an impressive live show that has the charismatic singer fronting an 11-piece band. It's just one of many adventurous moves that are impressing our hosts. Jim explains that with the exception of one bum track which tells the sad story of“a life ruined by meth addiction,”the diverse array of songs on FutureSex/LoveSounds all succeed. He gives it a Buy It rating. Greg agrees, explaining that the songs are fairly avant-garde and hook-less for a pop record. He does not think Timberlake is the best singer in the world, but he pulls off dance music as well as old-school soul. He also gives the album a Buy It. (By the way, Timberlake is not the only former Mouseketeer“dropping”a project this week. We want to extend hearty congratulations to his former girlfriend, Britney Spears, now the mom of two.)

JimGreg
Go to episode 42
The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2The 20/20 Experience available on iTunes

Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience

Over the past few years we wondered if Justin Timberlake had forsaken music for his first profession, acting. But, now he is back with a grand, almost operatic album called The 20/20 Experience. And while it is an experience full of lengthy, ambitious tracks, Greg wonders,“where is the soul?”He credits Justin with being smart and stylish, but misses the emotional investment. The 20/20 Experience is a“snooze,”so Greg says Trash It. Jim is less harsh, and recommends you Burn It, but only out of pure pop curiosity. He believes JT to be a charming entertainer, but doubts he has the darkness to back up this neo-soul experiment.

JimGreg
Go to episode 382
Shock Value (Instrumental Version)Shock Value available on iTunes

Timbaland Shock Value

Superstar producer Timbaland also has a new solo album called Timbaland Presents: Shock Value. Timbaland, otherwise known as Tim Mosley, has produced massive hits for pop and hip hop stars like Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake. But, in addition to having a knack for making commercially successful tunes, Timbaland is also one of the most inventive, innovative and avant-garde producers of all time. This fact makes it all the more difficult for Jim and Greg to give their ratings of this album. Jim thinks the first half of the album is worth checking out for some solid production. But, he wishes Timbaland hadn‘t been so base and clichéd in his lyrics. He also questions the creativity involved in the album’s all-star collaborations. He gives Shock Value a Burn It. Greg can't even be that kind. He is completely disappointed by this album and is forced to give it a Trash It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 71
The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2 available on iTunes

Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2

This fall is seeing a slew of big new records. First up to bat is Justin Timberlake with The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2. The triple threat has teamed up with one of the producers who helped him make his post-N'Sync debut: Timbaland. But, this time the results are mixed. Jim finds the music lacking punch and wishes the BPM's were upped a bit. He says Trash It. Greg agrees the music needs more pep, but found a few songs worth saving. He goes with a Burn It for JT.

JimGreg
Go to episode 410
In My MindIn My Mind available on iTunes

Pharrell In My Mind

The next album up for review is by superstar producer Pharrell. Pharrell Williams is best known as part of the production duo The Neptunes, who have crafted hits for everyone from Jay-Z to Justin Timberlake. He and partner Chad Hugo also recorded some of their own music as N.E.R.D. Now, Pharrell has branched out solo (or as solo as a hip-hop artist can be these days) with In My Mind. A quick glance at the number of hits credited to Pharrell might make this album seem like a no-brainer. But it festered without a release date for such a long time that it raised some eyebrows. And, after giving the record a listen, Jim and Greg can say that those suspicions were not unwarranted. Greg explains that for someone who makes his living creating innovative beats and catchy hooks, the lack of such a sound on this record was shocking. Jim agrees, and neither critic thinks that Williams has the chops or personality to be a solo star. Kanye West, a producer who actually managed this feat, collaborates with Pharrell on "Number One," but it's a dreadful showing from both artists. In My Mind gets a Trash It — and Sound Opinions wonders if Chad is the genius to look out for after all.

JimGreg
Go to episode 35
Harry StylesHarry Styles available on iTunes

Harry Styles Harry Styles

Musician Harry Styles has been compared to Davie Bowie in the British press. But does his debut solo album, Harry Styles, live up to the hype? Greg says the album rips off classic rock riffs from the likes of U2 and Badfinger to craft a“retro-leaning”sound. He was expecting a“pop-leaning stadium sounding record”from Styles, who was formerly a member of boy band One Direction. Greg thinks the album, however, is a“personal-sounding”record that lacks substantive lyrics. Greg says Trash It. Jim says turn to Justin Timberlake if you want to see a "young product of the modern pop machine" who became a "true visionary artist". He admits“there are some charming moments”on the record, but that "most of them [are] ripped off from other places in rock history". Ultimately, Jim gives Harry Styles a Try It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 600
lists

The Best Songs of 2013 - Mixtapes

We‘ve said goodbye to 2013, and now we want to salute the tunes that wowed us. There’s no better way than with a personal mixtape from Jim and Greg to you.

Go to episode 423

Greg's Mixtape: A Curse I Cannot Lift

  1. Lindsey Buckingham, "I Am Waiting." A cover of a relatively obscure Rolling Stones track from "Aftermath" sets the mood of sunrise expectation and apprehension.“I am waiting … waiting for someone to come out of somewhere.”
  2. Midlake, "Roscoe." An echo from Lindsey Buckingham's past? The sound is mid-'70s Fleetwood Mac: dusky folk-rock. I can imagine Christine McVie doing a perfect cover of this song. The song is set in 1891, like a dream about a more innocent time.
  3. The Decemberists, "The Crane Wife 3." Still in the past, still dreaming, but the innocence turns to despair.
  4. Dirty on Purpose, "Car No-Drive." Wake up. Morning rush hour. This song sounds like it's pouring from the windows of a passing subway train. We're going somewhere…
  5. Rhymefest, "Bullet." To Iraq. Turn on the TV, and we see young recruits wondering how they ended up in a desert in the Middle East fighting a war they don't understand.
  6. Serena-Maneesh, "Drain Cosmetics." A sandstorm of guitars.
  7. Secret Machines, "Lightning Blue Eyes." Then tunneling out, and into the sunlight where "I felt awake, I was way out."
  8. Parts and Labor, "A Great Divide." A call to arms, a dividing line in the mix, day becomes night.
  9. TV on the Radio, "Wolf Like Me." Silhouettes dash against the moon —“Got a curse I cannot lift.”
  10. The Roots, "In the Music." A sinister night vibe, as low-riders slink through skyscraper canyons.
  11. Nelly Furtado, "Maneater." Where all sorts of nightcrawlers roam …
  12. Justin Timberlake, "What Goes Around/Comes Around." And a reckoning goes down — "I can‘t believe it’s ending this way."
  13. Van Hunt, "If I Take You Home." The night winds down, uneasy partners match up…
  14. Love is All, "Make Out Fall Out Make Up." The hangover aftermath —"I think I'll spend all day in bed."
  15. Gnarls Barkley, "Gone Daddy Gone." "Love is gone away."
  16. John Legend, "Show Me." A morning prayer for guidance.
  17. Beyoncé, "Irreplaceable." And she's ready to move on, a new day begins…
Go to episode 56

Jim's Mixtape: Just Crazy About 2006

  1. Gnarls Barkley, "Crazy"
  2. Tapes 'N Tapes, "Crazy Eights"
  3. Arctic Monkeys, "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor"
  4. Veruca Salt, "So Weird"
  5. Fergie, "London Bridge"
  6. Justin Timberlake, "Love Stoned/I Think She Knows Interlude"
  7. Kelis, "'Til the Wheels Fall Off"
  8. My Chemical Romance, "Teenagers"
  9. Grandaddy, "Disconnecty"
  10. Mission of Burma, "Nancy Reagan's Head"
  11. Jenny Lewis, "Rabbit Fur Coat"
Go to episode 56

Turkey Shoot

It's Turkey time! Let out all your holiday frustrations on some well-deserving musical turkeys. Here are the albums that most let Jim and Greg down in 2013 as part of our Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot:

Go to episode 416

Going Solo

Paul McCartney solo Paul McCartney released his first post-Beatles album 45 years ago this month, launching a commercially successful solo career that is still going strong. Sometimes members of a famous band go out on their own and fall flat on their faces. But in this segment, Jim and Greg share examples of artists going solo and living up to expectations.

Go to episode 490
news

Music News

Everyone loves a steal, even corporations. Specific Media recently got quite a deal in procuring MySpace. News Corp. purchased the website in 2005 for $580 million; now they‘ve unloaded it for $35 million. It’s proof that MySpace doesn't have the cultural cache it once did. But Justin Timberlake is doing his best to fix that. The pop singer and actor (who incidentally portrayed Facebook's Sean Parker) will work with the new owners to“rebuild and reinvigorate”the site. But websites are like reality stars – it's rare to get more than fifteen minutes of fame.

Speaking of cheap deals, pop music is anything but. Planet Money recently tallied the costs that went into making Rihanna's "Man Down" a hit. Between the big name songwriters, producers and expensive promotion, the dollar amount comes to $1,078,000. As Greg explains, this is nothing new. Record companies were spending this kind of dough twenty years ago. But at that time the returns were much greater. To spend a million on a song that might make two to three million? The math doesn't add up.

Go to episode 293

Music News

North Carolina Congressman Melvin Watt has introduced a bill that promises to shake up the radio world. Known as the "Free Market Royalty Act," it would require broadcasters—online and offline alike—to compensate artists and labels whose music they play. (Under the current rules, only the songwriter and rights holder receive the royalties, and terrestrial radio stations get a free ride.) While artists have come out in support of the bill, The National Association of Broadcasters — the U.S. radio industry's lobbying arm—is making its opposition known, warning that this“performance tax”would burden already-struggling radio stations.

Over on the charts, a string of debuts took top slots. Drake's new album Nothing Was the Same exploded at number one, making it the second best-selling debut week for any artist in 2013 (topped only by Justin Timberlake). And, for the second week running, Miley Cyrus'“Wrecking Ball”is number one on Billboard's Hot 100… but is it really? In February, Billboard began including digital streaming in its tally for the Hot 100. So, Miley has YouTube to thank for her success.

In other weird charts news, the finale of AMC's smash hit Breaking Bad aired last week, and it closed with the forgotten Badfinger track "Baby Blue." Hours after the final credits rolled, 5,000 fans had purchased the 1972 song on iTunes, and its Spotify streams skyrocketed by 9,000%. Greg thought it was a good song choice, but Jim says that he would have preferred Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue." (Hey, at least it wasn't as painful as The Sopranos farcical "Don‘t Stop Believin’."

Jim and Greg invite you to "Ask the Critic." This week they answer a question from Kevin, a 15-year-old fan from Chicago. Kevin seeks advice on starting a band. Jim and Greg tell him to play from the heart…never mind those stinkin' critics! Got a question for Jim and Greg? Email interact@soundopinions.org or call 888.859.1800.

Go to episode 410

Music News

With the release of Nielsen's SoundScan year-end sales figures for 2013, Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines has officially been crowned the top-selling single of the year with 6.5 million units. Hot on Thicke's heels were Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' Thrift Shop and Imagine Dragons' Radioactive with 6.15 million and 5.5 million respectively. Turning to albums, Justin Timberlake claimed the top spot with 2.43 million copies of The 20/20 Experience sold. Though, Jim and Greg note that the album's numbers happen to be the lowest sales for a #1 record in Nielsen history.

The report also revealed other interesting trends in the music industry. Vinyl record enthusiasts continued to show the love for LPs in 2013 with sales up 33% over the year before. People loved streaming their music, as well, but digital sales were down 6%. This has Jim and Greg wondering: is the stream going to kill the download?

Speaking of death and downloads… Last week, Jim and Greg reported the loss of pioneering country rocker Phil Everly. Apparently they weren‘t the only ones mourning. In the week after Phil’s passing, fans downloaded 18,000 Everly Brothers songs, a whopping 696% increase from the previous week. Dying, it turns out, can be a great career move.

Coachella Music Festival has released its full 2014 lineup. In addition to top headliners Arcade Fire, Muse, and OutKast (who are reuniting for the first time since 2007), the desert super-show will feature Girl Talk, Lana Del Rey, Motörhead, Lorde, plus two bonus reunions: The Replacements and Neutral Milk Hotel.

In other live music news, the NFL has beefed up its plans for the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show. Just in case main act Bruno Mars wasn‘t enough to satisfy America’s burning need for overhyped pop spectacle, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be joining him onstage. What a combination, Greg laments.

If the Nielsen numbers were any sign, streaming music is here to stay. And now another big player is hoping to break into that (already crowded) market: Beats Music. Spearheaded by Dr. Dre, Trent Reznor, and record exec Jimmy Iovine, the new streaming service aims to offer a more curated listening experience than its competitors. Rather than using algorithms to help users find music, Beats will rely on experts from Pitchfork, Rolling Stone—and your esteemed Sound Opinions hosts! But Jim and Greg wanted to know how the service compensates artists and labels, something for which Spotify and Pandora have taken flak. CEO Ian Rogers explains that because Beats Music won‘t be available for free, the company will pay extra for each song streamed. With the majority of every subscription fee going toward giving rights holders their fair share, Rogers says that what’s good for Beats Music is good for the industry.

Go to episode 425

Music News

Another Grammy night has come and gone, and again it was all about the performances. The award show had its second biggest ratings night since 1993, and one of the biggest newsmakers was someone who wasn't even eligible for an award: Justin Timberlake. Other big winners were Mumford & Sons and Frank Ocean. Jim and Greg talk about some of the Grammy's bizarre voting and eligibility rules and compare these winners to those who took home the prize for Village Voice Jazz & Pop Poll.

Go to episode 377

Music News

Justin Timberlake played a social-media mogul in the movies, but can he do it in real-life? The JT-backed social media site MySpace recently re-launched with a sleeker design and a 50 million-plus song library. The company says it's the internet's largest legally streamable song library. Or is it? A group representing indie labels like Merge, Domino, and Beggar's Group is alleging that MySpace has its members‘ music up without permission. Will MySpace be able to work out a deal? Given the site’s 27 million unique visitors a month, Greg's betting the indie labels will find a way to compromise.

Jim always suspected rock ‘n’ roll was a hazardous occupation. Now experts at Britain's Health Department have weighed in, and guess what? It's true. A study of 1,500 artists across genres concludes that 9.2 percent of rockers die earlier than regular folks. Not only that, but solo artists face twice the death-risk of artists in bands. Researchers speculated that bands provide an extra support network for at-risk stars. Turns out we really do get by with a little help from our friends.

Go to episode 374

Music News

This week MTV launched a new sister — or rather“hermana”— network called MTV Tr3s. The station, pronounced“MTV Tres,”is a bilingual music network aimed at Latino Americans aged 12-34. Considering that the Latino population in the U.S. is estimated to grow 62% by 2020, this is a smart business move. Jim and Greg hope that the opportunity to focus on new, cutting edge Rock en Español acts is not lost. A skim of the programming schedule shows that the MTV Tr3s will not be radically different from the flagship station. In addition to a Latino TRL, which will feature acts like Shakira, Mana and Pitbull, there is a version of "Pimp My Ride" entitled“Pimpeando,”and a version of "My Super Sweet 16" entitled“Quiero Mis Quinces.”Sound Opinions doesn't like to pre-judge, but we suspect that Rock en Español fans might be better off seeking music out on their own. Check out Jim and Greg's interview with Ernesto Lechner for suggestions.

In the latest installment of what Jim and Greg have dubbed the“Pot Calls the Kettle Black”series, Sting recently spoke out against the overly commercial pop music of artists like Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake. He says,“Today's music is not designed for me… For me singing is a spiritual journey. I'm devoutly musical.”This statement comes from a man who debuted his single, "Desert Rose," in a Jaguar commercial. Of course, Sting has absolutely NO commercial aims with his next project — a disc full of 16th century music performed on the lute. True music fans can check that out next month. In the meantime, we invite Sting and Bob Dylan and any other cranky old rocker to make an appointment with the Rock Doctors.

After 24 years, legendary rock group The Who are coming back with new material. Remaining members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry will release a new album, Endless Wire, in late October. The two recently launched a tour, along with Ringo's son Zak Starkey on drums and Pino Palledino on bass, and finally, they have new music to perform. Greg caught their Chicago show, and was impressed that after years of trying to recreate what they once were, the band finally understands what they are — a duo. The music focuses on the combination of their vocals, rather than a powerhouse, arena rock sound. Jim thinks that all of Townshend's other projects are a lot more interesting than the new Who material, however. The musician/opera composer is also a publisher and author. Of course, it wasn't any of these things that got Townshend in the headlines in the past few years.

Go to episode 44

Music News

With 2008 ahead of us, it's time to look back at who reigned in the year that was. According to recent figures, it was The Police. The recently reunited group had the top grossing tour of 2007 with $132 million. Also making the top 10: Genesis, Van Halen and Roger Waters. While people like Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera also had successful touring years, Jim and Greg were dismayed to see how dominant aging, nostalgia acts were. It doesn't bode well for the concert industry, especially when you see that overall sales were down almost 20%. Our hosts recommend concert promoters focus more on developing younger, more diverse acts if they want to improve the numbers for next year.

Next up Jim and Greg speak with Oscar-winning director Peter Bogdanovich, whose new film Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream, has been airing on the Sundance Channel and is now available on DVD. Greg notes that Bogdanovich is a director who likes to cover big subjects and big men, like Orson Welles and John Ford. And the filmmaker agrees that Tom Petty fits into that mold. He describes him as a truly“American”artist, and one that warrants a four-hour film.

Go to episode 110