"My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)"
Fall Out Boy, "Save Rock and Roll"
Fall Out Boy are a national treasure. They recently came screaming back from a three-year break with a new single, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)”. The latest track from pop punk’s darlings is strange in the way of creatures from the Mariana Trench—the group has emerged from the depths of hiatus grotesquely changed. Between hair-metal cries of “fire” (pronounced “fiyah”) and a music video featuring 2 Chainz (formerly known as Tity Boi), it feels as if the band is trying its hardest to confuse its longtime fans. The song has none of the trademark wordplay or infectious riffs of classic Fall Out Boy. Pete Wentz, what hath thou wrought?
"So Many Details"
Toro y Moi, "Anything in Return"
Multilingually named artist and producer Toro y Moi (real name Chazwick Bundick) is famed for his ability to seamlessly blend dark, almost sinister sonic elements into seemingly simple and poppy songs. “So Many Details” is a shining example of this style, with staccato synth notes in minor modes punctuating Bundick’s sensual and understated vocals. The tension between the lyrics and the production delicately underscores Bundick’s romantic contemplation. “So Many Details” plays like a nighttime ocean swim: dangerous, refreshing, and alluring. Toro y Moi makes it clear with this single that he has depth that far surpasses the superficial charms of a typical chillwave artist.
"Suit and Tie"
Justin Timberlake, "The 20/20 Experience"
Justin Timberlake has released a single as inscrutable as his plans for his upcoming album. “Suit and Tie” is so very close to being a classic JT jam, filled with funk and falsetto that gets fans yelling and dogs howling, but in the end, it falls short. Jay-Z’s verse is an awkward interruption, more like a lazy cameo than a complementary aside, and is indicative of the song’s larger failure to coalesce. The jerky nature detracts from the Curtis Mayfield feel that Timberlake nearly captures. This song is only relevant because it is a Justin Timberlake song, and after JT’s six-year hiatus, fans will take whatever they can get.
—Staff writer Alexander Tang can be reached at email@example.com
Timberlake Receives Pudding Pot
POSTCARD: Stuck in the MiddleReturning on a Sunday night from a weekend trip to Switzerland, I got into my apartment building’s tiny, old-fashioned elevator and everything seemed to be going fine. Famous last words.
Toro Y Moi Leave Chillwave Behind on Organic LatestIt may not be a masterpiece, but “Underneath the Pine” is a huge step in the right direction for Toro y Moi—an extremely listenable piece of retro pop that will undoubtedly worm its way into the ears of listeners new and old.
Justin Timberlake's "20/20" An Almost Perfect VisionThe skin-tight t-shirts and hair gel are long gone, replaced by bow ties and a slickly combed hairstyle. On his latest effort, “The 20/20 Experience,” the music matches the look and attitude. The hooks may not be as catchy as we’re used to, but the album as a whole is a sprawling, ambitious effort.
Part Two of "20/20" Is A Bleary Follow-Up
"Runner" Goes Nowhere"Runner Runner" focuses on a Princeton graduate student attempting to take down an online gambling empire from within. However, even with this exciting subject matter, there’s a sense of staleness that courses throughout the film, and neither JT’s baby blues nor Affleck’s smooth delivery can rescue it.