On Wednesday evening musician/actor Justin Timberlake tossed off a mysterious tweet that said, simply, “Thursday, January 10th, 9:01 am PST.” With that little message, the online world erupted: Has the one-time N' Sync member, absent from the album charts for nearly seven years, finally decided to release new music?
If so, it's certainly taken a while. The last time we had solo music from the superstar, George W. Bush was still president and "American Idol" (arguably) mattered. In 2006, Timberlake dropped the transformative pop album, "FutureSex/LoveSounds." That record, a pop classic that married R&B, funk, hip hop and dance music into one multi-platinum amalgam, was produced by Timbaland, and featured gems such as "LoveStoned," "SexyBack" and "My Love."
According to Billboard, Timberlake's new material was also overseen by Timbaland. The Virginia Beach (by way of Miami) producer, whose work over the years with Aaliyah, Missy Elliott and Nelly Furtado changed the sound of pop in the '00s, has been relatively quiet as well of late, failing to continue his once ubiquitous reign on the charts.
Musically, Timberlake's most high-profile gigs since then have been cameos, most notably with the comedy-rap team the Lonely Island, whose "D*** in a Box," "Motherlover" and "3 Way (The Golden Rule)" each went viral after airing on "Saturday Night Live."
Otherwise Timberlake has spent much of his time acting, and appeared in lead roles in "The Social Network," "Friends with Benefits" and "Bad Teacher." His next major role will see him working for the first time with Joel and Ethan Coen, who cast him in their forthcoming "Inside Llewyn Davis."
What to expect from Timberlake musically? There are rumors of Jay-Z and Beyonce turning up for a cameo on the new track, but that's all the news there is at this point -- the Timberlake/Timbaland camps have been notably tight with information. But come 9:01 a.m., it's entirely possible JT will once again be at the center of the pop music conversation.
Good morning, indeed.
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