The Justin Timberlake: cleaner but not necessarily better
The week in ADM
Michael Palmer reflects on the week's notable album action in the ADM chart
It's been a big week for comebacks. In the 20 years since
mucking about on The Mickey Mouse Club with all the other famous
people from the 2000s, The Justin Timberlake has
done some stuff. He was in one of the biggest boy bands ever, he
released an alright solo album, he brought sexy back, he released a
fantastic solo album, he got good enough at acting he could drop
the "The" (it's cleaner) and now he's released his first music for
six and a half years.
But is it any good? Nobody knows. Well a lot of people do know,
but when you mix them together all you're left with is a confusing
mush, sort of resembling a 7.2 average. The Arts Desk, Sputnik,
BPM, Paste and Pitchfork all love it enough to rate it higher than
an 8. They praise how bold it is and its respect for the pop roots
it nods to. All Music, Slant, The Quietus, BBC and Pop Matters all
hate it enough to rate it 5 or below. They mock how self-centred it
is and say the songs are long and boring.
The week's next big comeback was The Strokes.
Actually they released an album as recently as March 2011, but it's
still a comeback because most people wished they hadn't. So have
they finally got over the burden of a debut album people love too
much? Nope. They average a 6.3. Six respectable 8/10s are no match
for four quite brutal 4/10s. Maybe next time.
In "bands you have to look up how to spell every time" news,
Phosphorescent's "heartrending" and
"heartbreaking" album charted with a 7.9 overall. A 10/10 from
State, backed up with 9s (pretty much) from Paste, AV Club and
Pitchfork should go some way to easing Matthew Houck's
Our jury of critics is very divided on Daughter,
whose debut album is either loved or hated. State, music OMH and
Entertainment.ie gave it 10/10 and thirteen sources rated it 8/10
or higher. However with no middle ground in the scores, its average
is weighed down by a few 6s, a 5 (NME) and a 4 (The Observer) so it
sits on a 7.7.
Elsewhere: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's new
effort is only managing a 5.8 average. Peace started the week
strongly, but a 5 and a 4 dragged it down. Deptford
Goth's 10 from Artrocker is balanced by its 4 from Mojo.
And No Ripcord and The Daily Telegraph bring John
Grant's 10/10 count to a very impressive seven, closing in
on our All-Time-Chart-Topper Frank Ocean's tally
of nine. With a US release in May, can he beat
Kanye's amazing record of fourteen?