Justin Timberlake played golf with Kiefer Sutherland this weekend in Brentwood. Pipsqueak’s head is extra extra big right now because of how well The 20/20 Experience sold in its first week. And his summer tour with Jay-Z is also doing great numbers. Not bad for an album that was put together in only 20 days. Just 20 days? Well, who’s to say that greatness can only occur after a lengthy gestation? Besides, maybe it was actually gestating for all these years (despite the fact that he’d been wasting our time trying to be Ryan Gosling for so long).
But...did you read that piece in The Hollywood Reporter last week? It’s worth your five minutes. Basically they’re wondering whether or not JT rushed this album out because he signed a $20 million deal with Live Nation a few years ago, with $5 million already paid to him upfront, and they were putting pressure on him to go on tour. And touring usually means new music. Which could explain why the music on The 20/20 Experience has received, as THR notes, “mixed reviews”.
It doesn’t matter though where the inspiration came from and whether or not the final product is mediocre. You can half-ass the product so long as you don’t half-ass the promotion. And, as we saw, JT did not half-ass the promotion. He promoted the sh-t out of his album. He promoted it like it was a competition. He promoted it with such determination it threatened to overtake the joy, if there was any joy there to begin with. The result: almost a million sold in the first week, an outstanding success. Does it matter what it actually sounded like?
Click here to read the article in The Hollywood Reporter. And he’s not the only one either. Madonna has a big deal with Live Nation too. And, well, how many songs do you remember from her last album?