Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Sunday, May 27, 2018

Take 5: The Timberlake Experience

The 24/7 Experience: Have you heard? Justin Timberlake is back to making music.

The throwback single "Suit and Tie," featuring a candid rap verse from Jay-Z, has already sold over a million downloads.

The second single, an epic-length ode to Jessica Biel entitled "Mirrors," is not far behind.

These singles previewed his brand new third album "The 20/20 Experience." If critics are to be believed, it's not a game-changer like Timberlake's last album "FutureSex/LoveSounds," but it's undeniably entertaining, inventive and, clocking in at over an hour, lengthy.

Look for homages to Michael Jackson, Prince, Gloria Estefan and R. Kelly.

Inside Llewyn Davis: Sure, he's back to music, but don't count Timberlake out of the movie game either.

This fall, he plays a songwriter exploring folk in the 1960s in the Coen Brothers' latest film "Inside Llewyn Davis," likely to be a critical favorite and possible Oscar contender.

Of course, because Timberlake can never be content to dominate one medium at a time, he will also contribute music to the soundtrack, including a collaboration with Mumford and Sons frontman Marcus Mumford.

(Fun fact: Mumford's wife is Timberlake's co-star Carey Mulligan, also Daisy in the upcoming adaptation of "The Great Gatsby.")

South by Southwest: Timberlake played a "secret" (read: not-so-secret) show to close out the South By Southwest festival last Saturday.

Shortly after, opening DJ, ?uestlove of The Roots revealed a new element of Timberlake's master comeback plan. On a message board conversation, the multi-talented drummer revealed that "The 20/20 Experience" is the first half of a two-part opus. Its ten-song conclusion will be unveiled in November.

While Timberlake was likely waiting to announce this news in a more glamorous fashion, the promise of a follow-up might explain why Timberlake promised T.I. collaborations that have yet to materialize.

Five-Timers Club: Because singing and acting alone are not enough, Timberlake also accomplished a significant TV milestone recently. He was inducted into the Five-Timers Club on "Saturday Night Live," commemorating his fifth appearance as host on the popular weekly comedy program.

Celebrities as varied as Chevy Chase, Tom Hanks, Andy Samberg, Candice Bergen, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were on hand to welcome Timberlake into the club. On the same night, Timberlake impersonated Elton John, dressed as a gigantic piece of tofu and delivered a healthy slice of "Maine Justice."

Fallon: The onslaught of promotion for this high-profile comeback included a weeklong stint as musical guest on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."

Of course, Timberlake couldn't appear on his longtime friend's show without participating in a few extracurricular activities. He spoofed his image and demonstrated his musical prowess alongside Steve Carell and Michael MacDonald.

Finally, he teamed up with Fallon for a fourth installment of the "History of Rap" series, in which the dynamic duo energetically performs a montage of rap classics through the decades.

What a month it's been for the superstar of the moment, Justin Timberlake.

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