How a Live Nation Deal Cornered Justin Timberlake
March 28, 2013 6:34 PM   Subscribe

 
This has been going on for as long as there's been a music industry. Just ask the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.
posted by esoterica at 7:02 PM on March 28, 2013 [3 favorites]




It makes a lot of sense, actually. There's an emptiness and a rush to "20/20", especially compared to an album like "FutureSex/LoveSounds". I actually have way more respect for "20/20" considering that it was apparently recorded in 20 days...
posted by rollbiz at 7:22 PM on March 28, 2013


I wonder what they mean by "made in 20 days." Modern pop album marketing, strategy, and production for the market he's going after is so complex that it's still a pretty amazing feat even if they did the standard current method of selecting from piles and piles of already-produced tracks with studio singer demo vocals and then going from there. But if, by "made in 20 days," they mean that it was 20 days from the moment the first song started being written until the day the album was mastered and ready to print, that's really quite incredible, given the number of people involved and the logistics of the whole thing. I've done albums in a lot less time than that, but not mass-market pop stuff, which is a whole different game.
posted by The World Famous at 7:37 PM on March 28, 2013


I think it's a much better record than Futuresex/LoveSounds". I've got nothing but respect for Justin. Memphis represent!
posted by vibrotronica at 7:52 PM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


This makes a lot of sense. When Kanye made that crack about Suit and Tie I remember going Kanye's a dick, but he's right... Suit and Tie struck me more as the 3rd or 4th single off an album. Not the 1st single you release years after having a hugely successful album.

Given how quickly it was slapped together it's actually an accomplishment. Nothing to write home about, but hardly an embarrassment. And a lot better than what similar artists have released with a lot more effort.
posted by whoaali at 8:21 PM on March 28, 2013


However he did it its probably his best album.
I love it and have even come around to thinking the lengthy track times make perfect sense.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:29 PM on March 28, 2013


I'm sure he'll cry himself to sleep on a pile of cash and naked models.
posted by bardic at 9:15 PM on March 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


"20/20 was made in only 20 days."

Well, damn, I'd love to see what the man can do in a month. Or two months.

20/20 is some beautiful pop music, and the super-long songs are just brilliant. What makes it better is that every one of those songs just positively slams when performed live. Add to that how infectious a let's-go-out-tonight anthem like "Suit & Tie" is and I see nothing wrong with it.

It might be cool to hate this album, but to hell with that.
posted by grabbingsand at 9:16 PM on March 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Interestingly it got "Best New Music" on Pitchfork. Could hating this album be so mainstream that liking it is hip? Or maybe they just enjoyed the album! The lengthy tracks really work for me. Not that I look to artists like JT for great writing, but I can see how some of the weak lyrics would be doubly so in hit-single length. These reviews acting like a dozen extended jams with circa-2002 Timbaland production could possibly be a bad thing crack me up. Now if D'angelo were the opening act for the tour, they'd really have something.
posted by Lorin at 9:24 PM on March 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Where are the great pop songs, JT? I know you're officially R&B now and everything, but man, I miss the tight, meticulous, driving melody of (say) the title track of Futuresex/Lovesound. The closest 20/20 comes to that sort of pure craft is "Tunnel Vision," and that's not very close.
posted by eugenen at 10:03 PM on March 28, 2013


I don't like Suit & Tie at all. But really Kanye, you hate money now? Oh Kanye, such a kidder.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:13 PM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh Justin, how could you rush out an album for contractual reasons?

What happened to Integrity?

What happened to Art?

It used to be all about the music. and the 'NSync merchandising rights
posted by AndrewStephens at 11:25 PM on March 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like the album quite a bit, but I'm a complete Timberlake enthusiast, so.
posted by Kwine at 11:32 PM on March 28, 2013


I might like it better without Jay-Z rapping about truffles on it. I get that he is no longer just rich, he is wealthy, so he's gotta be on some next level shit, but whats next polo?
posted by Ad hominem at 11:50 PM on March 28, 2013


MetaFilter loves Justin Timberlake now? WTF?
posted by DU at 4:39 AM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter loves Justin Timberlake now? WTF?

Should we hate for the sake of hating? This isn't that kind of website.

Metafilter: Hate for the sake of hating
posted by Malice at 4:46 AM on March 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hate for the sake of hating
posted by Malice


Wow.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:51 AM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I listen to Timberlake when I'm depressed. I always feel like some good-looking dude is standing next to me, ruffling my hair and saying "cheer up, emo kid!"
posted by pxe2000 at 4:59 AM on March 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


Also, a small part of me wishes he'd done something like this as a contractual obligation album.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:04 AM on March 29, 2013


In 1956, Miles Davis knocked out four albums in two recording sessions to fulfill a contract and allow him to jump labels. Four. (Steamin', Workin', Cookin', and Relaxin')

You know what's obnoxious? They're amazing.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 5:06 AM on March 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


Ima let you finish, etc etc, but Here, My Dear is the greatest contractual obligation album of all time.

PS not withstanding his historical inferiority to Marvon Gaye, Justin Timberlake is fabulous.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 5:32 AM on March 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ad hominem: "I don't like Suit & Tie at all. But really Kanye, you hate money now? Oh Kanye, such a kidder"

Kanye was saying that JT used to be great, and he sold out with this album. And Kanye is right.
posted by I am the Walrus at 6:43 AM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kanye was saying that JT used to be great, and he sold out with this album. And Kanye is right.

Maybe he is right about JT but Kanye ranting about the evils of money cracks me up. This is the dude that showed up at Occupy Wallstreet with like a 20k worth of gold.

If I managed JT, I would advise him do a soul album in the next 20 days with Adrian Younge.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:15 AM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


If loving JT is wrong, I don't wanna be right.
posted by Fig at 7:52 AM on March 29, 2013


Kanye was saying that JT used to be great, and he sold out with this album. And Kanye is right.

If Kanye is making this specific allegation, which is far from clear, it makes no sense. Is he saying that JT wasn't selling albums to make money before? Is he saying that he, Kanye, isn't trying to make money off his own albums, tours, etc? Apparently the line about JT and Jay-Z, which was "I got love for Hov but I ain't fucking with that 'Suit & Tie,'" came in the middle of a rant about how he makes music "for the creativity more than anything" and he hates corporate sponsorships and "business people." Please. I think it's pretty clear from this and the Taylor Swift incident that Kanye is a self-righteous ass.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 7:58 AM on March 29, 2013


He also mentioned hating soft drinks merchants, Pretty clearly referencing Beyonce's Pepsi deal. He either has some specific beef with hov and b, and JT is just fallout, or he is working diligently to keep his business partners in the news.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:16 AM on March 29, 2013


Kanye was saying that JT used to be great, and he sold out with this album. And Kanye is right.

Kanye either doesn't have any idea what the term "sold out" means or he is being paid handsomely (monetarily or otherwise) to hype JT's new album by disparaging it. If I could somehow make money off the increasing value of a disparaging comment by Kanye that names another artist by name, I'd be a rich man (as evidenced by the fact that Kanye makes money off of that very thing). I wonder how much Taylor Swift's people paid Kanye for that whole thing. Damn.
posted by The World Famous at 9:02 AM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


If liking this album is hip because hating it is too mainstream I'm even older than I thought.
posted by blucevalo at 10:34 AM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm probably too old to judge the quality of the music, but I'm hugely impressed by how good he is on SNL, especially when he makes fun of himself. Imagine someone with Kanye West's bloated ego trying to do that.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 10:49 AM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kanye was saying that JT used to be great, and he sold out with this album. And Kanye is right.

Hey Kanye, do you like fishsticks?
posted by TheRedArmy at 2:05 PM on March 29, 2013


MetaFilter loves Justin Timberlake now? WTF?

Should we not? Dude seems to be OK for a celebrity former child star that spent a good chunk of his adolescence dealing with hot messes of all kinds.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:27 PM on March 29, 2013


...hot messes of all kinds

His adolescence was a lot like mine, it seems.
posted by Seiten Taisei at 2:41 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


If liking this album is hip because hating it is too mainstream I'm even older than I thought.

I'm pretty sure you have to have like a 10th dan black belt in hipness to know what the correct position on JT is supposed to be. But for me, The Barry Gibb Talk Show alone was sufficient to earn him a lifetime of goodwill and the benefit of the doubt.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:27 PM on March 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hate for the sake of hating
posted by Malice

Wow.


You're the first one to ever point out my username! /sarcasm
posted by Malice at 12:20 PM on March 30, 2013


Timberlake has the potential to be the kind of multifaceted entertainer that we see all too rarely today. I don't really go in for most "radio-friendly" new music, but his records are so uniformly well crafted that I can't deny their brilliance. His acting has been surprisingly vulnerable and true, even in small roles. And, obviously, his comic chops are good enough that he could make a career out of them alone. Best of all, he really appears well-adjusted, and has no issues at all poking fun at himself or his own career, which is a self-awareness that entertainers at his level of success seem to lack with disappointing frequency.

It's almost a kind of rat pack kind of thing, but with just him. I look forward to whatever he does next.
posted by uberchet at 9:15 AM on April 1, 2013


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