For the last couple of years, I have been a self-proclaimed music junkie. I even use the hashtag #musicjunkie on my personal Twitter when referring to new music that I like. Basically, it means that if I come across new music, and it’s good, I will listen to it. No matter who is singing, no matter who produced it, no matter the reputation the music has, I will listen. That’s not to say that I don’t have my specific tastes; I enjoy the jazzy side of Amy Winehouse (one of the only modern scat singers, may she rest in peace!), the honest flows of rapper Drake, and the clear-cut vocals of Bruno Mars. I grew up listening to mainly hip-hop and R&B, but I have a sweet spot for bubblegum pop (queue in Katy Perry’s ‘California Gurls’).
This week has been a great week in music for me. I am a huge fan of Justin Timberlake, and he released his first album in almost seven years, The 20/20 Experience. His last album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, is a classic in my mind. I remember first hearing it as a kid and really falling in love with the funky tones and Timberlake’s crystal clear falsetto. Preview the new LP below:
One of my favorite songs on the new album is called ‘Mirrors.’
I love the video, especially because Timberlake dedicated it to his grandparents, William and Sadie, which I think is sweet. My only problem is the dancer towards the end (6:42) in the mirror scene with JT. I think she’s a great dancer, but she’s so skinny, it’s almost scary. The outlines of her ribs and her sternum look unhealthy, in my opinion. I wish they would have chosen another dancer, but overall I really enjoyed the video. I think there should be more promotion of healthier figured girls, but I also understand that music is an art, and sometimes artists make decisions that represent art, not social acceptance.
The whole album is wonderful, and there are even rumors that another accompanying, 10- track album will release in November, to get the whole “20/20” experience. The whole album is expected to have great first week sales, and I think this is also due to the partnerships JT has made in correlation to this album. During the Grammys, this Target commercial aired in correspondence to Timberlake’s debut performance of Suit & Tie and Pusher Love Girl:
Here’s that Grammy performance (it’s epic, in my humble opinion).
Pairing the artist of the moment with your company is a great strategic communication move. Ad campaigns like this not only make Target lots of money, they make JT lots of money, which encourages the artist to sign on to the project. Target also offers an exclusive version of the album, drawing fans and capitalizing on the music while it’s in high demand. I think this is a great move, and I hope other artists continue the trend as long as they tastefully partner with other companies.
On the side, I love music that isn’t mainstream. I love listening to those songs that not many people know about, and are from artists who are hopefully on the rise. One of my favorite artists, ever since I was a little girl, is JoJo. She came up as a preteen, becoming the youngest artists to have a number one single (Leave (Get Out); she was only 13!). Today, she is 22 years old, and during the winter break in December 2012, she released her second mixtape since being held down by her failing record company, Blackground Records (get some backstory here: http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/popwrap/jojo_an_expose_Ohz4GmJ5sHRUpjzzGnl1sM#axzz2OEO0S1FW)
From the mixtape (http://www.datpiff.com/JoJo-Agape-mixtape.448950.html), the song André become a huge hit among JoJo fans. She recorded a video (with her own money; no support from any record label) and it was released today. Being the huge JoJo fan I am, I fangirl-ed for about 10 minutes as I watched the video over and over again.
I love the concept behind the song, which is a nod to Andre 3000, because it is about a girl who is “a sucker for a guy with a beautiful mind.” I think there needs to be more media out there that promotes females respecting men who are intelligent, unique, and caring. Too many girls these days fall in love with guys who don’t respect them. This song is one of empowerment, not only for women looking for honorable men, but for men who think they can’t be with a women because they won’t be attracted to his intelligence or uniqueness.
I would also like to take a moment to plug one of my favorite up-and- coming artists right now, who has an edge similar to Justin Timberlake. His name is Travis Garland, and his third mixtape, Fashionably Late Vol. II, is gaining major popularity.
The singles, Where to Land and Blue Electric Roses, are on constant reply on my iPod. Garland has a similar sound to Timberlake, but quite a bit more of a pop edge. I love his music and I hope his music tears up the charts soon. Check out his video, Where to Land, as well as one of my favorite covers by him, where he makes a Taylor Swift song sound good. Check it out: