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Before our attention swerved over to attention-grabbing releases like Yeezus and Magna Carta Holy Grail, plus the endlessly provocative "Blurred Lines," Justin Timberlake spent months dominating music's corner of pop culture. He presented The 20/20 Experience as a blockbuster return-- his first album in seven years-- and then it actually turned out that way, crammed full of dance-worthy songs that got better the more you listened to them. He'd spent more than half a decade trying his hand as an actor, starring in a Best Picture nominee and seeming torture us with vague promises of returning to music. Then he finally did return, and lived up to his own hype. Not an easy thing to accomplish, particularly for someone whose boy band days aren't even all that far behind him.
Now Timberlake doesn't just have to live up to his own hype, but to the standard he set himself, as he prepares to release the second half of The 20/20 Experience this fall. The first single off that album, "Take Back The Night," is what you were just listening to above, a disco-inflected track that sounds like it could have wandered over form Michael Jackson's Off the Wall album. People fed up with Timberlake's female-objectifying video for "Tunnel Vision" might not react well to the song's title, the same as the yearly anti-rape event. But Timberlake seems to have a magical ability to shrug off controversy, and if anyone does raise it an issue, I wouldn't expect it to hit him any harder than the "Tunnel Vision" non-scandal did.
Plus, it's hard to be mad at somebody who makes music that's this fun. We might have a long while to wait for a video for "Take Back The Night"-- "Suit and Tie" debuted in mid-January and the video didn't emerge until a month later-- but you can already imagine Timberlake dancing somewhere in the background of this song, maybe surrounded by those flashy lights we see at the very beginning. Hopefully he leaves the naked women out of this one.
If you still feel the urge to dance at your desk-- hey, it's Friday, nobody's paying attention anyway-- here's that "Suit and Tie" video, followed by "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," just in case you've forgotten how great disco-era Michael Jackson really was.