Music Review: Justin Timberlake’s 2nd Album This Year Doesn’t Match His Previous Efforts

Now at your library: Streaming movies, music

It took seven years for him to follow-up the Grammy-winning masterpiece that was FutureSex/LoveSounds, and when he did in March with The 20/20 Experience, the pop prince helped fill a void in our musical lives, thanks to his slick R&B sound jelled with dance beats. Looking for things to do? Select one or more criteria to search Kid-friendly Get ideas Now, we may be getting too much of Timberlake. The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2 uses the same formula thats becoming his musical trademark the trance-inducing grooves and futuristic electronic beats helmed by Timbaland and Timberlake, who co-wrote each song. Unfortunately it doesnt feel new. Like FutureSex and the first 20/20 album, the songs on 2 of 2 are long, but they arent as entertaining or as cohesive as his first effort. Some tracks sound like leftovers from past recording sessions, and dare we say it actually drag on. The album starts on the wrong note with Gimme What I Dont Know (I Want) and the nine-minute True Blood, both up-tempo songs that lack that Timberlake-esque spark and swag. The lead single, the disco number Take Back the Night, might be good for mere mortal pop stars, but compared to Timberlakes own lofty standards, disappoints. A better choice would have been the Drake-assisted Cabaret, which is smooth and has an addictive hook. Not all of 2 of 2 should be dismissed: You Got It On is soft slow jam listen and youll feel like youre on a cloud. And the midtempo Drink You Away is the discs most adventurous offering. It doesnt sound like anything else on the album: Its guitar driven with a strong backbeat, with a raw quality that makes it a bit indescribable and exhilarating.

Why Classical Music Is Imperiled—Sort of

That limit may change, depending on demand and how usage grows. Hoopla’s launch won’t affect the stocking of physical DVDs at library branches for the time being, Blankenship said. Unlike physical copies, there are no waits for patrons who want to borrow a streaming movie. For Seattle resident and library patron Jamie Koepnick-Herrera, Hoopla has joined her other streaming services such as Netflix, which she uses for movies, and Hulu, which she uses to watch current seasons of television shows. On Hoopla, she found the yoga videos she was looking for. “I think it provides a great free source of entertainment for families who can’t afford to get a movie for family night or for teenagers to have access to that album they can’t afford,” Koepnick-Herrera said. Hoopla’s movie and television collection is impressive in its numbers: About 3,000 titles. It is, however, chockfull of B-movies. Some of the newer movies weren’t exactly hits in the theaters, such as Keanu Reeves’ “Generation Um” and Lee Daniels’ “The Paperboy,” which preceded his hit “The Butler.” But there are also many older films, including some classics. The choice of foreign flicks is also healthy and with some quality picks. Documentaries, such as “Gasland” and “Restrepo,” are some of the top picks for a collection that also includes public television documentaries, like Ken Burn’s “Prohibition.” Under the television section, Hoopla offers plenty of National Geographic and British shows, but not much else.

The Minnesota Orchestra and New York City Opera are simply the latest victims in a long-running classical music recession. The long list of recent orchestral crises includes the San Francisco strike of 2013, the Philadelphia Orchestra bankruptcy filing of 2011 (it emerged from bankruptcy in the final days of summer 2013), and the Detroit Symphony players strike of 2010. The Great Recession exacerbated the already troubled finances of many symphony orchestras, opera houses, chamber groups and other institutions dedicated to playing the classical repertoire with highly-skilled, well-compensated musicians. Attendance is down, with 8.8 percent of adults going to at least one classic music event in 2012, compared to 11.6 percent in 2002, according to the 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts by the National Endowment for the Arts. The classical music business seems locked in a state of terminal illness, staggering from crisis to crisisespecially symphony orchestras, the crown jewel of classical musics ecology. By other measures, the classical canon seems healthy, if not downright vibrant. The NEA survey notes that 18 percent of adults listened to classical music on TV, radio, and the Internetmore than heard Latin music, Spanish music, Salsa music, or jazz. While writing this column, I listened to Bachs Brandenburg concertos playing in the backgroundthe version by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, conducted by Neville Marrinerone of more than 180 such albums available for download on iTunes ( AAPL ). (A Brandenburg Concerto search in the music section of Amazon.com ( AMZN ) came up with 1,510 possibilities.) Classical music lovers can get their Chopin, Sibelius, and Beethoven on public radio in most markets. Fact is, if the Minnesota Orchestra never plays another note, there will be no shortage of competitive offerings locally. I could cross the Mississippi to listen to the nearby St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (recently back from its own strike), attend any number of concerts in Minneapolis by visiting musicians, or download favorite recordings.