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Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake
Credit: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

How is Justin Timberlake's new song 'Suit & Tie' selling?

Read what other critics are saying about his comeback single

We weighed in on “Suit & Tie,”  Justin Timberlake’s first new song in more than six years, last night. We felt it was a good start and a nice, retro-soundng track.

And you are responding loud and clear as well: the song is on top of the iTunes Songs chart (in part because Timberlake’s label, RCA, is swatting the song down any time it appears on YouTube). The response at radio has been strong with many Clear Channel  and CBS-owned stations playing it hourly.  Billboard predicts the single could sell as many as 400,000 copies in its first week.

Here’s what some other critics are saying about the song, the first tune from Timberlake’s forthcoming album “The 20/20 Experience.”

The Los Angeles Times’ August Brown says: "We’re pleased to report that the results are quite sexy. "Suit & Tie" is a radiant, ramshackle song that's less of a coherent single and more of a coronation event. It grafts at least three different Timberlake settings -- the slow-rolling futurist, crisp-collared soul man and backseat driver to a rap kingpin (here, Jay-Z) -- into one strange track that comes off like a best-man wedding toast. It’s rambling and full of awkward transitions; yet occasionally finds its feet and ultimately heralds a joyful event:  Justin Timberlake making music again."

People Magazine’s Chuck Arnold give it a thumbs up: "JT goes for a more retro vibe on this suave single, which previews his much-anticipated third solo album, The 20/20 Experience, due out later this year. With its smooth, horn-kissed lushness, it recalls the '70s R&B of Marvin Gaye as well as Robin Thicke's modern-day take on old-school soul." 

PItchfork likes Timberlake, Jay-Z not so much. Writes Stephen M. Deusner: "While not quite as risky as "SexyBack" or as rewarding as "My Love", "Suit & Tie" is still one hell of a wedding reception jam, as bubbly as champagne. Timbaland creates a smooth beat out of a marimba roll and harp gliassando that Marvin Gaye must have left on the cutting-room floor, and Timberlake rides it with that fluid, effortless falsetto. "Let me show you a few things," he sings by way of seduction. Because it’s a song called "Suit & Tie", Jay-Z is on here, delivering the obligatory rapped verse like he's crashed a wedding. It's another in a string of uninspired cameos by Hova."  

Billboard’s Jason Lipshutz is Team Timberlake...with reservations: "Suit and Tie" is a good song, but it's not the artifact from another planet that we've been expecting, nor it is the ambitious experiment that Timberlake alludes to when he describes heading into the studio and "just creating with no rules." Comparing "SexyBack" with "Suit And Tie" makes the latter seem almost impossibly safe: it's a sumptuous, fairly straightforward love song with forgettable lyrics ("Love is swinging in the air tonight"?), a useless opening 40 seconds and a Jay-Z verse that dutifully penetrates the beat while offering nothing unexpected."

Rolling Stone’s Dan Hyman
says "Suit and Tie," a horn-addled shuffler likely to inspire many new dance routines, finds JT waxing poetic about his love for dapper duds. "I be on my suit and tie shit/ Can I show you a few things, little baby?" he croons. Jay-Z later joins in with lines about "truffle season," wearing tuxedos for no reason and the trendy designer Alexander Wang

How do you feel about "Suit & Tie?" Hear it here.
 

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<p>Jaden Smith is alone... Jaden Smith is <em>utterly</em> alone...</p>

Jaden Smith is alone... Jaden Smith is utterly alone...

Will Smith's kids Jaden and Willow tap into teenaged pain on 'Kite': Listen

Drake and Rihanna, together again!

Willow and Jaden Smith are 12- and 14-years-olds, both the progeny of Will Smith. And they are "lost," according to their new track together "Kite."

Their ages are worth reiterating, shedding light on the elementary nature of each's rhymes, but also on the times: it's true that the Weeknd and Frank Ocean blew up in 2012, and in 2013, these Smiths -- as is their nature -- are imitating them.

Willow's no stranger to working her way around her girlish range like Rihanna, with previous output like "21st Century Girl." She put on her blackest eyeshade for another release "Sugar and Spice," out last week, which had her emoting over a sample from Radiohead's dour "Codex"; I did my best to ignore it (partly due to the further infantilization of women by a 12-year-old who couldn't possibly comprehend such an infliction particularly on her generation, but I digress) but "Sugar" was indicative of the sour...

Because at the top comes Jaden, with Drake as an overt influence, as he rhymes about his obvious teenaged sorrows of having every privilege and still feeling unhappy. "I am a poet, I do not explain..." he says in the middle of a 32-bar exploration of "-ain." Pain, being the most prevalent.

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Watch: Johnny Marr's new video for 'Upstarts'

Watch: Johnny Marr's new video for 'Upstarts'

Bouncy first single from Smiths' first solo album, 'The Messenger'

Johnny Marr recently told The Guardian that The Smiths “invented indie.” I’m not so sure that he’s right about that, much less what that actually means.

[More after the jump...]

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Watch: Santigold's 'Girls' video for 'Girls' features girls, but no Lena Dunham

Watch: Santigold's 'Girls' video for 'Girls' features girls, but no Lena Dunham

And that's OK... now dance

Lena Dunham's show "Girls" took home gobs of Golden Globes Awards last night, but today is Santigold's "Girls" triumph.

As previously reported, the songwriter contributed the song "Girls" to the "Girls" TV show soundtrack. And it's fun. It evidently is fun to other girls as well. The video companion features women and girls of all ages lip-syncing to the track, bouncing and bounding in their natural habitats. No exposed booties or eye-popping costumery; no glamorous lens tricks or luxury cars or slathered-on makeup. We're so used to artifice, it's refreshing to just see females having a good time to a song after their own heart.

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<p>&quot;The Queen of Versailles&quot;</p>

"The Queen of Versailles"

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

'Ai Weiwei,' 'Queen of Versailles' join Oscar players in DGA documentary nominations

'Searching for Sugar Man' looks strong as ever

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has offered up its list of nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking, and it's a nice slice of vindication for a pair of Oscar snubees.

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Watch: Beyonce reveals Blue Ivy's ultrasound in new documentary trailer

Watch: Beyonce reveals Blue Ivy's ultrasound in new documentary trailer

She wants us to know that she's 'a human being'

Beyonce wants us to know that she’s “a human being. I cry. I get scared. I get nervous, just like anyone else.”

In the trailer for her new HBO documentary, “Life Is But A Dream,” her voice over hints at how difficult it is to be Beyonce and that her struggles to balance a commercial life with her artistic vision: “I always battle with how much do I reveal about myself...how do I stay current. How do I stay soulful,” she asks.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Ozzy Osbourne</p>

Ozzy Osbourne

Credit: AP Photo

Black Sabbath releasing first Ozzy-led album in 35 years

'13' will not feature original member Bill Ward

For the first time in 35 years, Black Sabbath led by Ozzy Osbourne is releasing an album of new originals. Ozzy, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler combined with Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk and superstar producer Rick Rubin for "13," due in June.

It was announced in late 2011 that Sabbath was reuniting for some festival dates, along with the promise that a new set was happening. But then original drummer Bill Ward quit over a contract dispute, claiming he was being short-changed, and Tony Iommi continued hard into his struggle against lymphoma.

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<p>Bounty Hunter Embo was introduced in a 'Seven Samurai'-inspired episode of 'The Clone Wars,' and now Zack Snyder is apparently using the same film to inspire a stand-alone 'Star Wars' movie.</p>

Bounty Hunter Embo was introduced in a 'Seven Samurai'-inspired episode of 'The Clone Wars,' and now Zack Snyder is apparently using the same film to inspire a stand-alone 'Star Wars' movie.

Credit: Lucasfilm/Warner Home Video

Zack Snyder developing stand-alone 'Star Wars' film inspired by 'Seven Samurai'?

Kurosawa and 'Star Wars' have always gone hand-in-hand

The true test of the ongoing commercial appeal of "Star Wars" will not come with the release of Episodes VII, VIII, and IX.  The true test will come when they finally leave the story of the Skywalker family behind and begin telling stories that are set in the universe that George Lucas created, but that explore new corners and new characters.

That test may be coming sooner than anticipated, and I am eager to see how it plays out.  Zack Snyder is developing a stand-alone film that uses Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai" as a foundation, according to a report this morning on Vulture, and that seems like a perfectly logical development.  After all, "Star Wars" has Kurosawa in its DNA in a major way.  The first film in 1977 was directly inspired by elements from "The Hidden Fortress," and when Lucas began casting the movie, they made overtures to Toshiro Mifune to play Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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<p>&quot;Argo&quot;&nbsp;producers Ben&nbsp;Affleck,&nbsp;Grant Heslov and George Clooney at the 70th annual Golden&nbsp;Globe Awards</p>

"Argo" producers Ben Affleck, Grant Heslov and George Clooney at the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Off the Carpet: Why I want to see 'Argo' win Best Picture at the Oscars

Ben Affleck's sturdy drama still has an angle on this race

The last 100 hours or so in Hollywood has been intriguing, to say the least. The Oscar nominations on Thursday sent a series of shockwaves throughout the industry and were marvelously reflective of a tightly contended, stellar year of filmmaking. And of course, two names have been on everyone's lips since the Thursday morning bombshell: Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow.

First and foremost, I don't think it's an "embarrassment" that they were left off the list of Best Director nominees. That word has been thrown around a lot this weekend but I think it's a facile direction to go. Let's be honest. Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, Michael Haneke, Benh Zeitlin and, though I don't like the film, David O. Russell (it is, after all, a genre rarely recognized, certainly for direction) is a strong, fascinating slate of nominees. And it would appear the two who scooted Affleck and Bigelow out of the mix were Haneke and Zeitlin. So let's look at that.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 166

Dan and Alan talk TCA press tour, 'The Following,' 'Legit' and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls! It's time for a new installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
You'll notice that while we're posting on Monday, this podcast was actually recorded at the end of last week, so there is NO discussion of the Golden Globes. Sorry. Sepinwall and I recorded when we had the time, contemplated recording more if we had time and then didn't have time. There's plenty here, but there's nothing about the last two days of TCA Press Tour or other things from the past few days.
 
Sorry.
 
And there's plenty here because I'm off to Sundance on Wednesday, so we won't have time to podcast again for the next 10-ish days. There may be a podcast at the *end* of next week, but there won't be anything before that. So we have lots of reviews here, including this Monday's premieres ("The Carrie Diaries") and next Monday's big premiere ("The Following).
 
Enjoy!
 
This week's breakdown:
Press tour stuff (00:01:20 - 00:34:00)
"The Carrie Diaries" (00:34:10 - 00:43:50)
"Continuum" (00:44:00 - 00:50:55)
"The Kroll Show" (00:50:55 - 00:55:30)
"Archer" (00:55:30 - 00:58:00)
"Legit" (00:58:00 - 01:07:00)
"Ripper Street" (01:07:10 - 01:14:40)
"The Following" (01:15:10 - 01:31:10)

 

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 166: Press tour, 'The Following,' 'The Carrie Diaries' & more

Dan and Alan also discuss 'Continuum,' 'Archer,' 'Legit,' 'Kroll Show' and 'Ripper Street'

The

Time for the last Firewall & Iceberg Podcast for a few weeks in all likelihood, since Dan is going straight from press tour to Sundance, while I've already come from press tour back to my home and family. So we had a lot to cover in this one (which was recorded on Thursday), including what were the most recent days of the tour to that point, but also a lot of new shows debuting over the next couple of weeks, from "The Carrie Diaries" all the way through to "The Following." The lineup: 

Press tour stuff (00:01:20 - 00:34:00)
"The Carrie Diaries" (00:34:10 - 00:43:50)
"Continuum" (00:44:00 - 00:50:55)
"The Kroll Show" (00:50:55 - 00:55:30)
"Archer" (00:55:30 - 00:58:00)
"Legit" (00:58:00 - 01:07:00)
"Ripper Street" (01:07:10 - 01:14:40)
"The Following" (01:15:10 - 01:31:10)
 
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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<p>AnnaSophia Robb as Carrie Bradshaw in &quot;The Carrie Diaries.&quot;</p>

AnnaSophia Robb as Carrie Bradshaw in "The Carrie Diaries."

Credit: CW

Review: CW's 'The Carrie Diaries' takes 'Sex and the City' back to the '80s

John Hughes seems more of an influence than Darren Star and Michael Patrick King

Carrie Bradshaw walks down a Manhattan sidewalk in slow-motion. It's a gorgeous day, her curls bounce with each high-heeled stride, and she is mistress of all she surveys.

A familiar scene, no? Only this is the 15-year-old Carrie in the mid-'80s, not the thirtysomething one in the late '90s; the glorious moment is ruined not by the splash of a bus hitting a puddle, but by the realization that it was all a daydream; and the show isn't HBO's "Sex and the City," but the CW's "The Carrie Diaries."

Same character, different network. Same city, but no sex yet.

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