Suit and Tie

Suit and Tie

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The future, it turns out, sounds a like velvety R&B swank from the 70s.  Seven years (!) after his top-to-bottom masterpiece FutureSex/LoveSounds, it seemed as if Justin Timberlake would, again for the millionth time, recalibrate pop music by casting familiar tropes so far into the future that they seemed entirely new.  Maybe that was wishful thinking from someone who listened to “My Love” and “Until the End of Time” an obsessive number of times.  But it’s not all that surprising that Timberlake’s latest move would be another reclamation project, is it?  His self-confidence with and mastery of pop idioms is so complete that he barely breaks a sweat doing his gauzy take on The Bee-Gees while Timbaland masterminds some effervescent funk from behind the mixing board.  After all, this is a man who rewrote Off the Wall as super-smooth millennial rhythm and blues.  Now, if only Timberlake could do something about Jay-Z’s phoned-in guest verses . . .

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01 2013

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    Fantastic as always: “Timberlake still brings the heat — he’s just keeping it in his own kitchen.” And I think you’re absolutely right about Timberlake’s meticulous brand management. It’s always amazing to me that JT never comes across as a calculating businessman, though his business acumen is just impeccable. And the fact that a pop star from a boy band has managed to stay relevant without overexposing himself is just incredible to me.

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