Justin Timberlake-Mirrors

justin 2020
Many were unimpressed with Suit and Tie, but there’s no doubt the buzz for JT’s upcoming The 20/20 Experience hasn’t been impacted, and this single should help recover fans disappointed with the first single.

It’s much more pop-heavy, with Timbaland serving a production that combines his trademark clap-heavy percussion with strong synths, and an uplifting turn for the hook. It’s a classic pop formula, but as I read on Twitter earlier, when in JT’s possession it’s the sort of beat that can ‘revive Timbo’s status as a top-level producer’. As expected, the vocal performance is on point, with a couple of powerful, soaring sections that make this ideal for radio airplay, whilst the ending tacks on a slowed down section in the manner of Lovestoned/I Think She Knows. Both sections are filled with mature, warming lyrics to make this a mainstream favourite, and the whole package combines for a track right out of the old-school JT playbook with a grown-up twist.

Justin Timberlake-Mirrors

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Justin Timberlake-Suit and Tie ft. Jay-Z

Another act who decided to announce a comeback, with the announcement of The 20/20 Experience album, due for release at an unnamed point this year.

Hooking up with his frequent collaborator (well, back in 2006 anyway) Timbaland, it’s a reunion of sorts that promises much, but ultimately fails to deliver. The track opens almost bizarrely, wrongly combining a dark, creepy fairground-esque production with JT’s pop rap-style hook, before launching into something much more likeable, that being a jazzy production comprised of horns, chunky percussion and inclusions of several softer elements from key hits to light electronic effects. There’s definitely something likeable about the production here, with an uptempo feel that almost evokes images of a lively Vegas night, whilst JT’s vocals are in good form and infect that beat with even more positivity. However, the structure of the song seems very loose at best, and the track’s movement back down to the slow beat for Jay’s verse kills its momentum, whilst his verse itself drags a little. Cut off the start and the section shortly before, after and including Jay’s verse and it’s good, but as it stands it’s not going to see much time from me.

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Missy Elliott-9th Inning and Triple Threat ft. Timbaland

The previously-released snippet had plenty of promise and the full track is released to stream, coming with Triple Threat tacked on at the end.

That Timbo production on 9th Inning sounds excellent at length, with the melody’s urgency and freneticism allowed to shine and expand. Missy’s raps, whilst a welcome return, don’t possess the uniqueness I’d hoped for and instead seem to take on a current-day style; a strange criticism to make, but it’s not necessarily one at all. It may simply be that many of today’s female rappers have been heavily influenced by Missy, and hence Missy’s style seems diluted, but I found this a much more familiar listen than expected. I appreciate, however, that it’s an odd flaw to point out.

Triple Threat has more uniqueness about it overall. The string-heavy production brings a touch of class to the beat, whilst Missy takes on the relatively tricky production with a series of strong flows that suggest she’s not lost any sharpness. Undoubtedly, the Azealia Banks comparisons will come out with this one, but to my above point, it’s tough to tell which way the influencing has happened. Regardless, they’re two solid tracks for sure and Block Party should shape up quite well.

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Missy Elliott-9th Inning ft. Timbaland (Snippet)

Absence really does make the heart grow fonder (worst intro line ever). After a 7-year absence from the solo music scene (and for the most part, collaborations too), the incomparable Missy Elliott is gearing up to make her return with this single from her 7th album, Block Party.

It’s only a short snippet but there’s plenty of promise here. Timbo seems to have rediscovered a little verve with the production, throwing out a bassy percussion together with an elegant melody and leaving little to no trace of the overworked dance-style he’d been relying on in recent years. Missy’s flow is as slick as ever too, with the lone verse we’re treated to suggesting that hunger hasn’t disappeared and she’s ready to remind hip-hop what she’s capable of. That full version can’t come soon enough.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 142

It’s a little late this week, but with good reason as R&B Fridays is on a 2-week hiatus after this episode, due to ‘international commitments’ of the team.

Thankfully, it’s an episode to savour with two brand new contributions from series favourite Frank Ocean, in addition to a couple of other noteworthy artists getting involved. Three to catch up on from the week gone by, with Novel dropping off a bumper 19-track project, Teyana Taylor also getting in the mixtape hunt with her newest effort, and the second episode of our other weekly series, Sh*t You Forgot About. Head below.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 95

5 weeks away from the 100th episode, and the ‘new format’ rolls on with another easy-to-digest and concise edition. Not too much to catch up on in terms of different posts, but I’m sure anyone with even a sprinkling of good taste will be interested in grabbing 64 Frank Ocean tracks.

An interesting blend of mainstream stuff and more refined soul-oriented material this week, as well as chucking in the now customary throwback R&B track of the week. Click below to be happy.
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R&B Fridays: Episode 91

Yeah, we’re delayed again. You’re all pretty much used to it now though. When we hit that 100th episode, I may just have to rename this to something a little less ‘day specific’…

Catch-up: delayed visuals for Usher’s More, the video for Yasmin’s Finish Line and an official remix, very enjoyable video for Musiq and Swizzy’s single, XV’s remix of Erin Christine’s Naked, and finally Wiz Khalifa jumps on a remix with Cee-Lo.

Lots of features and guest spots in this week’s episode, so get your mice at the ready and get clicking below.
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R&B Fridays: Episode 90

Genuinely tried to get this out yesterday, but once again we suffered from a lack of material. I’ve managed to half fix that problem, though this is still a shorter episode than you’re probably used to.

However, there’s been lots of pop/R&B posted in the last week that may help fill that void: new Bruno Mars visuals, Willow Smith’s latest single, the announcement of an awesome 90s hip-hop and R&B night in Camden, a strong introduction to UK upcomer CleoSol, J.Lo and Pitbull’s latest collab, and finally some new Timbaland and Brandy.

Click below for the 90th instalment of the longest running weekly episodic ever.
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Timbaland-Whenever You Like ft. Bran’Nu

Some more decent material from Timbo for his #TimbalandThursday series. Whilst it’s nothing ground-breaking it is just a typical Timbaland R&B/rap hybrid of a track, that he does oh so well. This one features Bran’Nu….that’s the R&B singer Brandy’s rapping alter-ego by the way.

*Kanye Shrug*

Timbaland – Whenever You Like ft. Bran’Nu

Last week’s Timbo Thursday that I didn’t have time to post/felt ambivalent towards:

Timbaland – Hot Mess ft. J’Royal Price & JimmyCodean

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R&B Fridays: Episode 88

A few interesting remixes this week, with over a third of this week’s tracks being of the remix variety. Other great tracks in there too, making this an R&B Friday that you’ll forgive for being a little late to the party.

Unlike recent weeks, there’s a pretty big recap on this week’s notable R&B/pop events: Yasmin previewed her new single, Tank came through with a new video, Timbaland’s #TimboThursdays rolled on, Trey Songz released the Love Faces video,  Miguel and Gilbere Forte combined for a fantastic effort, Diddy’s Dirty Money trio released an official mixtape, last week’s notable Grammy performances, Bruno Mars’ Grenade getting the Lil’ Wayne remix, and finally Erin Christine’s fantastic performance of Naked. All worth checking out, and more worth your time after the click below.

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Timbaland-Mentally ft. Lyrica Anderson

This week’s #TimbalandThursdays is upon us and this is a track that has me in two minds. On one hand Timbaland’s verses on this are filled with autotuned nonsense over an average at best beat. On the other hand Lyrica Anderson (what a name!) provides a fantastic hook which elevates the beat to decent status and makes the overall track an enjoyable listen. Click below to get hold of it.

Timbaland – Mentally ft. Lyrica Anderson

Bonus: We inexplicably forgot to post last week’s edition of this weekly series: it’s a track that features the lovely Keri Hilson, who (as some of you well know) can do no wrong in my eyes or ears.

Timbaland – You Lied, You Cheated ft. Keri Hilson

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R&B Fridays: Episode 86

All good things come to an end, and my recent run of posting these on time has been broken. The football fans out there will also note that another streak was broken today, but we are NOT getting into that.

A quick round-up from the week gone by: UK upcomer Talay Riley grabs Wretch 32 for a remix of his single, Timbaland’s latest weekly instalment, Trey Songz’s take on Chris Brown’s latest single, and finally a medley of incredible Michael Jackson covers from the fantastic Patrick Stump.

Lots of big names in this week’s episode, and many that will certainly catch your mainstream eyes. Click below for a sweet-smelling blast of R&B to your sweaty, sweaty face.
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Timbaland-808 ft. Brandy

Another week, another Timbaland Thursday. Much like Swizz Beatz ‘Monster Mondays‘, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the quality of the tracks Timbaland’s been coming out with. These are essentially throwaway tracks, but from a production point of view, it’s arguable that the strength of these are better than what we heard on his Shock Value 2, or the beats he gave Jay-Z for Blueprint 3.

This track is no different, another very good beat for us to enjoy with Brandy providing some vocals to add to the goodness.

Timbaland – 808 ft. Brandy

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Timbaland-Lil Apartment ft. Attitude & 6 Two

A little later than usual but here’s the latest track from Timbaland Thursdays. Continuing his good form – the beat on this track is another cracker, with a fitting chorus.

A much more darker feel to the song than the previous two weeks in this series, it’s good to see Timbo is trying to give us a bit of everything. Apparently he’s having legal issues with regards to this weekly series (literally have no idea as to why) so this weekly feature may not last for much longer unfortunately.

Timbaland – Lil Apartment ft. Attitude & 6 Two

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Timbaland-Round Da Way Tim

Second instalment of Timbo’s Thursdays weekly edition.

Following along from Timbaland’s collabo with Missy Elliot, we have another strong effort by Timbaland here, fans of his production and rapping style will definitely enjoy this.

I don’t really have anything else to add to that, and I’m in a rush….so make your own mind up about this song and download below. #okbye

Timbaland – Round Da Way Tim

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Timbaland-Take Ur Clothes Off ft. Missy Elliot

Timbaland Thursdays has begun! Yes this whole weekly series is massively played out now (I, for one, am fed up with it) but I can give Timbo a pass, just because I want to hear new music from him on a regular basis.

Missy Elliot’s been quiet for what seems an age now so it’s good to hear Timbo enlist her for his very 1st instalment of the series. Thankfully the production on this is on point and their chemistry together is as strong as it ever was. Basically if you liked their previous material together, you’ll like this. If you didn’t like what they’ve done together previously then you can go to hell (or just ignore this post, whichever suits you best).

Timbaland – Take Ur Clothes Off ft. Missy Elliot

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R&B Fridays: Episode 76

Whilst the rest of the music world seems to have taken a much-needed breather this week (album releases aside), there’s been no shortage of new and/or unreleased R&B and pop material in the 76th instalment of R&B Fridays.

The week has already seen a great new video from Tank, two new remixes from T-Pain, a captivating video for Bruno Mars’ Grenade, the UK’s own Chipmunk working with Chris Brown, another release from Trey Songz’s upcoming mixtape, Keri Hilson and Kanye West getting together for a new remix, Keyshia Cole and Nicki Minaj’s collabo video, and the unexpected release of a John Legend and Estelle EP.

Lots up there, and lots down below. Click on.
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Sebastian - Wobbley [Timbaland Remix]

Timbaland’s little brother gets a helping hand with a remix to a track on his upcoming debut album. Set to be the 1st single from that (Cruel Intentions), this is pretty good on first listen with an excellent beat by Timbaland.

Sebastian – Wobbley (Timbaland remix)

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Petey Pablo - Go [Produced By Timbaland]

I don’t usually check for Petey Pablo’s music (I still haven’t forgiven him for bringing that awful, awful Freek-a-Leek out), but seeing as Timbaland produced this I decided it was worth a listen. Glad I did, this is one of the best beats I’ve heard Timbo make in a fair while (definitely prefer this to anything he made on his last album, or his beats on Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3). Indian influenced, with Petey coming through with a nice flow.

Petey Pablo – Go

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R&B Fridays: Episode 57

Apologies for the delay, I’ve been busy today. Not only that, but narrowing this edition to 24 tracks was a hard task – I’ve had to cut out tracks that would have easily made the last two episodes! I’d recommend you download every one of these songs, you could easily make this your very own R&B playlist and not skip a single track.

A lot of new artists this week, with only a couple of notable star names, click on to get these gloriously rich tracks, you won’t be disappointed by what you hear.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 56

After the success of last week’s R&B Friday, I’ve once again picked up Ajay’s mantle this week and have for you another quality episode.

Here we have for you some big names in Ciara, Usher, JLS, Chris Brown, Keri Hilson, Omarion and we also have for you some newcomers. Up and coming regulars of this weekly feature like Jackie Boyz & Rock City also make an appearance, as you’d expect by now.

So click on for a load of tracks that will keep you entertained until your next scheduled fix!

Edit: I’ve since received the official album version of the new Usher track (with a different, new Pitbull verse) so come inside and grab the even higher quality one.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 54

Here it is: my last R&B Friday for around a month. Don’t you worry though, we’ve got plenty planned to keep you supplied and satisfied.

This week has material from a really wide range of artists and styles, from established artists like Timbaland to newcomers such as Sammie. Good stuff to keep you going until the surprises in store for you next week, be sure to click on and enjoy some R&B.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 43

FINALLY, we have a regular episode. After the triple digits of last week, we’re back down to normal levels. I’ve made an effort to throw in more new artists this week as the last few have been really mainstream, so there are some lesser known gems in this one for you to check out.

Obviously plenty of established names in there too though, so be sure to click on for a digestable instalment of R&B goodness.

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Sunday's Classic Collabo: Nas & Aaliyah

Cast your mind back to 1999, you put one of the best rappers in the game with one of the best R&B artists and to add more fire to the collaboration, you enlist one of the best producers in music. The result? This very track, which featured on Nas’ (much slept on) I Am… album.

For some reason this was never made a single and thus no video was ever made. Shame really, but I guess it just goes to show how strong the album was in terms of singles.

Feast your ears on this great track by clicking the red text below.

Nas – You Won’t See Me Tonight ft. Aaliyah (Produced by Timbaland)

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Timbaland and Justin Timberlake-Carry Out Video

I’m pretty meh about this track, as you can discover here. Probably going to have its fans though, so I can’t deprive you of the visuals. I’m alright like that.

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Timbaland and Katy Perry-If We Ever Meet Again

I’m still easing back in, give me time! For now, enjoy the visuals for the latest single from Shock Value 2.

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Notorious Indi’s Best of ‘09

2009 was one hell of an interesting year. We saw the comeback of Eminem, albums by the 2 other big names of hip-hop in Jay-Z and 50 Cent, and once again we waited all year for Dr. Dre’s Detox which never came. It’s fair to say that despite this the year hasn’t been dominated by the big boys and we’ve seen a gradual change in hip hop – the gangsta rap of previous years has steadily evolved into what can be described as ‘Hip Hop Hipsters’. Kanye led the way back in 2004 and by 2009 the likes of Lupe Fiasco, Kid Cudi, Wale and Asher Roth have emerged.

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Timbaland Double Post

The video here is the alternate one for Morning After Dark, and the track below is one which will not be on Shock Value 2. Apparently, a version of the track will be but minus Chris Brown. Make of that what you will, but the track itself is fairly decent.

Timbaland-Maniac (The One I Love) ft. Keri Hilson, Chris Brown and D.O.E.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 23

A very different line-up this week to what we’re normally used to, but still bringing the R&B goodness. There’s an entirely free 14-track EP from the acclaimed Kevin Cossom in there too, so be sure to click on.

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