LOS ANGELES — Are you loving the recent re-emergence of “Justin Timberlake the musician”? Well, you won’t have to wait another six years for a new LP: JT confirmed at his album-release party Monday, which airs as a one-hour special Tuesday night (March 19) on the CW, that The 20/20 Experience is just the half of it.
“Let me clear a rumor up,” Timberlake told host Ryan Seacrest at the El Rey Theatre, addressing a revelation from the Roots’ ?uestlove that Timberlake’s 10-song album would be followed up by another 10 tracks in November. “The news that this is only the first half of the album, that’s true. That’s all I’m gonna say!”
Instead, Timberlake let his new music do the talking at Monday night’s “Target Presents the iHeartRadio Album Release Party With Justin Timberlake,” offering sneak peeks of Target bonus tracks “Dress On” and “Body Count,” plus live performances of lead singles “Suit & Tie” (Jay-Z’s verse was replaced with a dance breakdown) and “Mirrors,” as well as surefire future fave “Let the Groove Get In.”
The El Rey Theatre party kept up Justin’s recent Rat Pack vibe with his tailored black suit, Tennessee Kids big band and “Lawrence Welk Show”-era stage. “Cigarette girls” even passed out red bow ties, pocket squares and cuff links for the gentlemen and crimson lipstick and neckerchiefs for the ladies.
In between new songs, Timberlake sat down with Seacrest for a Q&A session, during which JT revealed that the spacey 20/20 track “Blue Ocean Floor” was inspired while listening to Radiohead’s OK Computer and Kid A and that the “Latin flair” of “Let the Groove Get In” sounded to him as if “the Jackson 5 went to Brazil.”Justin Timberlake gets fans “turned up” at SXSW secret show.
But it wasn’t all about JT’s brand-new Experience: He closed the night with some of his biggest hits, including strumming the guitar on “Like I Love You” and getting behind the keyboard for “Señorita.” “Cry Me a River” got a 2013 makeover, starting with Justin singing the chorus from Juicy J’s “Bandz a Make Her Dance” and an interlude of the Throne’s “N—as in Paris,” as he repeatedly rapped, “I ball so hard, that sh– cray” (another message to Kanye West , or just an innocent shout-out to absent pal Jay-Z?).
Timberlake’s album-release special airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on the CW.
Have you picked up Justin’s new album? Let us know in the comments!