411 Music Fact or Fiction 03.22.13: What About Those With 20/80 Vision?
Posted by Joseph Lee on 03.22.2013
Is Justin Timberlake's new album his best yet? Should Lil Wayne's hospitalization be a wake-up call? Should the Black Eyed Peas replace Fergie? 411's Joseph Lee and Jeremy Wilson debate these topics and more in this week's Fact or Fiction: Music!
Welcome to another edition of Fact or Fiction: Music. I'm your host, Joseph Lee.
You know, I'll try not to hold the fact the Joseph gives us homework for this feature against JT's new album. I'll say upfront that I'm not a huge Justine Timberlake fan and I probably listened to his last album once (although admittedly I think everyone has heard "SexyBack" a million times). Anyway, The 20/20 Experience – yeah I liked it and I'll give it up to him for trying something different and crafting an album that certainly is anything but lazy. Whereas FutureSex/LoveSongs felt like Timberlake trying desperately (and generally succeeding) to prove to the world that he can be more than what he was at the start of his career, this album does seem like he's an artist comfortable in his skin and just trying to craft the best, most challenging music he can. I don't necessarily love the album, but I can respect it and while I don't think every song needed to be nearly 8 minutes, it's telling that he can produce something like this after almost seven years and get the kinds of reviews it has been getting. Anyway, I respect Jeremy Thomas's opinion and if he tells me it's great, I'll go along with him on this matter.
Joseph Lee: FICTION.
FutureSex/Love Sounds remains his best album, and while The 20/20 Experience tries to match it, it doesn't succeed. It's still a very good pop album, and Timberlake is still 100x better in the genre than anyone else. It's better than Justified, but not as good as his sophomore release. I do enjoy the fact that he doesn't release an album full of radio-friendly singles and instead puts out an actual album. But "Strawberry Bubblegum" is such a bad, repetitive song that it disqualifies the album from being his best.
It always takes something drastic happening to someone famous, doesn't it? I mean, this shouldn't have taken this long. Hell, they probably should have taken the hint when JaMarcus Russell threw away his career over not being able to give the stuff up. Now, do I think this will change things in the hip-hop/African-American culture? No. But Lil Wayne's high-profile hospitalization might get it discussed more and get people – users and doctors specifically – talking in a more open way. I do think that will happen and that is probably the best we can hope for, until folks stop treating the stuff like candy in a cup and doctors start really, seriously studying its short-term and long-term effects. I'm happy Lil Wayne is okay, but he's really just doing this to himself and if he keeps it up, we'll be talking about yet another untimely death linked to "sizzurp."
Joseph Lee: FACT.
I'm didn't even know what "sizzurp" was until I had to write the stories about Lil Wayne's hospitalization. I don't understand hip hop culture at all so I'm not sure how something like this could be popular. Codeine makes you incredibly drowsy. Do the people who use it do so to fight insomnia? What other reason would you want to feel drowsy? But yeah, if a side effect is seizures, and someone as big as Lil Wayne almost died as a result, I think this will be a big wake-up call about another stupid trend.
Wait, the Black Eyed Peas are still around? Huh, news to me. Anyway, this sounds like a temporary thing since she is planning on going on maternity leave. It doesn't actually sound like their looking for a permanent replacement, and I think it's fine to look for a fill-in if she's taking considerable time off. Lots of bands have brought in stand-ins and it hasn't been the end of the world. Now if she doesn't come back after a year or two? That might be a more interesting discusssion.
Joseph Lee: FACT.
I'm not a fan at all of the Black Eyed Peas. I think their music is lowest common demoninator. That said, there are only two reasons why anyone cares about this group, and Will.I.Am's not going to bring in the fans without Fergie.
I had to listen to this as well. And it's terrible. I'm not sure where Beyonce suddenly became the pop musician of feminism but I think saying "bitch" a lot is the wrong way to promote it. Is there anyone that actually buys her tough girl act? Anyone at all? She's a spoiled celebrity who's about as "hard" as a melted marshmallow. Beyonce has a good voice, but she can't write a good song to save her life.
Jeremy Wilson: FICTION.
Ugh. I didn't like anything about that and I'm holding it against you Mr. Lee that you made me listen to it. What is that anyway? Am I missing something here? She's Beyonce, Sasha Fierce, #1 female empowerment diva and now she comes out with some boring trash-talk rap number? It doesn't even come close to the best of what she's done in the past and doesn't really jive with what has defined her career to this point. Frankly, it's boring and forgettable...and I never want to have to listen to it again.
I haven't turned on Green Day like a lot of people seem to as they got more popular ("it's popular, now it sucks") but there is literally nothing about a rock version of Shakespeare that I would enjoy. I'm not the biggest fan of musicals anyway, and good rock musicals are harder to pull off in my opinion. But if this is going to keep Billie Joe out of rehab again, more power to him.
Jeremy Wilson: FACT.
Absolutely! Sounds fun. I'm a Green Day fan and I liked what he came up with for the Broadway American Idiot show. Granted this isn't Broadway, it's a Yale Repertory Theater update of Much Ado About Nothing, but it still sounds cool. Although to be honest it's not even the Much Ado production I'm most looking forward to the most. That would be the upcoming Joss Whedon film which he shot in his backyard with his Whedonverse regulars.
I don't read autobiographies of people I am interested in, why would I devote time to read about Katy Perry's "trials and tribulations"? Unless you reveal that Russell Brand is secretly an alien, then your book is of no value to me.
Jeremy Wilson: FICTION.
If I didn't have any interest in Katy Perry's movie, which would take considerably less time and effort to endure, why would I be interested in reading about her and her life? Unless it's a pop-up book that comes with real candy, I can't imagine anyone but the hardest of the hardcore Katy Perry fans being interested. Are there hardcore Katy Perry fans? Or should be just go ahead and say "13-year-old girls".
Score Card: 3 for 6
Anything you agree with? Disagree with? Sound off in the comment section.