Three new tracks to get lifted to.
I don’t usually go to John Mayer for wisdom, but here’s something he said I thought was smart: “you never plan past your third album”. Now, as I look at this Justin Timberlake album lead-up, I think about it more than ever. While I was initially stupid and misled by an artsy-fartsy album cover, it turns out Timberlake won’t stop being who he’s always been. There’s something odd about an artist in their 30s travelling down familiar paths — usually this is the “album with Tony Bennett” portion of someone’s career — but if the album turns out as good as the singles, maybe it will put aside my uncomfy feeling.
Here’s JT and two more good new tracks for your weekend.
Tinashe – No Drama (feat. Offset)
As an R&B artist, Tinashe is a no-nonsense hit maker. Her 2014 single “2 On” was inoffensive and excellent, built on a straight-down-the-middle trap beat. It’s hard to believe it’s been four years since that song, but her new single “No Drama” with Offset is destined for similar heights. In an increasingly male-dominated genre (sad boy R&B from Russ and Khalid leads the pack), it’s almost a throwback to hear a sultry female vocal — the next in the footsteps of Destiny’s Child — over a pop-minded StarGate beat. And yeah, try to get the hook of “don’t want no drama ma-ma” out of your head.
Tune-Yards – Heart Attack
Merrill Garbus’ Tune-Yards project has also been on the shelf for four years, and on new album i can feel you creep into my private life, she’s thrown aside a noisy brand of indie (capitalizing on her piercing vocals) for a more Euro-dance vibe. The album is out today, and first single “Heart Attack” is a good example of how this sound has creeped in, without quite reaching Robyn territory. She’s even thrown the “attack-ack” repetition into the chorus — like a true dance junkie knows to do.
Justin Timberlake – Supplies
The Neptunes return! The second single from Justin Timberlake’s album Super Bowl grabs this spot based on the instrumental alone. Somehow, Pharrell Williams is still able to make something totally left of centre that still slaps — what sounds like a sitar works well in tandem with a hiccuping beat here. Timberlake’s lyrics are… not quite up to elevating this track to Top 40 material though, with a very strange apocalypse metaphor where he’s… going to take you into his WWII bunker and have sex during nuclear war? Read the room, dude.
But yeah, Pharrell is still very good.