1. Killswitch Engage – Disarm The Descent
The studio return of original vocalist Jesse Leach proved to be a successful endeavor and an exceptional release, pleasing many long-time and new fans alike.
2. Black Sabbath – 13
Heavy metal pioneers, Black Sabbath, reunited in late 2011, showing the world that they still have the power after all these years through this phenomenal release and a world tour.
3. Alter Bridge – Fortress
As a band comprised of all of the members of Creed except for singer Scott Stapp, Alter Bridge continue to portray their superior sound, much different from the former group. With lead vocalist Myles Kennedy in the limelight, Alter Bridge are virtually unstoppable, as confirmed by Fortress.
4. Eminem – Marshall Mathers LP2
The sequel to 2000’s Marshall Mathers LP, 2013’s Marshall Mathers LP2 affirms that angry Eminem is indeed the best Eminem. With the necessary controversial insults and the use of a variety of rapping styles, this new effort is arguably his best yet. From the Beastie Boys-esque “Berzerk” to the lightning speed spitting on “Rap God” to the voice-altering style on “Love Game,” Eminem surprises the listener with the vast versatility he possesses.
Tag Archives: justin timberlake
1. Killswitch Engage – Disarm The Descent
On their second consecutive night performing at Fenway Park, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake succeeded with their promise of “bringing the party” to Sunday night’s crowd.
Opening with “Holy Grail” from Jay-Z’s new record, Magna Carta…Holy Grail, the “Legends of Summer” woke up the crowd from the get-go. They subsequently powered through Justin Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body,” Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me),” and a short cover of “I Want You Back” by The Jackson Five.
After the first handful of songs, the duo started to gradually give the fans more of each song. Still, they rattled through a lot of material in the joint set maxing out at over two hours in duration.
One of the most entertaining moments was Timberlake playing the guitar on a couple of Jay-Z’s songs. Until the camera focused on him, no one knew he was the one doing it. At that point, JT was decked out in Boston gear, including a Red Sox hat and a Boston Strong t-shirt.
While Justin was often on the stage for Jay-Z’s song, the acclaimed rapper did not seem to return the favor. To be fair, JT’s songs do not always have room for Jay-Z to spit a rhyme, which he nailed throughout the night.
Unlike some artists that often rely on the audience or back-up singers to either sing or rap most of their songs, Jay-Z did not really use any of those utilities. There were points where he spit faster and better than anyone could expect from him.
While the Boston Strong business seemed a bit overdone by the “Legends of Summer,” it still had an impact on the crowd. The duo really connected with the packed ballpark, both during and between songs.
One last notable highlight was Jay-Z’s smile peeking from behind his microphone. That was weird and unexpected, especially since his songs do not always provoke smiles, per se.
The overall concept and feel of Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience is very interesting. However, the overuse of repetition in unnecessarily lengthy songs hinders the listener’s experience, blurring it to maybe a 20/40 experience. This album seems to be more suited for passive listening as there are only two of the ten songs with durations under six minutes. Given JT’s musical style, it is a bit excessive having a full album of exceptionally lengthy songs. Although, he has exercised long song durations in his past two solo releases, but not to the extent of his latest CD.
The 20/20 Experience offers more of an experimental, jazzy pop type sound as opposed to the beat-oriented pop reflected on 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds or the straight-forward Top 40 material off of 2002’s Justified and every N-Sync release.
For what it is, The 20/20 Experience is good. Several songs are moderately enjoyable, including “Don’t Hold the Wall,” “Tunnel Vision,” “Spaceship Coupe,” and “Let the Groove Get In.” “Tunnel Vision” and “Spaceship Coupe” are probably the closest songs to what the general public would expect from the former N-Sync dreamboat. The latter actually incorporates dub-step into this jazzy pop sound.
Despite the previous criticisms, it should be known that while The 20/20 Experience may not appeal to everyone, it is indeed a musically intelligent work of art. JT has come a long way from his days with N-Sync. This new solo release dignifies Timberlake’s intellectual and musical growth.