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Justin Timberlake Goes Barbershop for ‘SexyBack’ and Tieless for ‘Mirrors’ on ‘Fallon’

Justin Timberlake, barbershop, "SexyBack," 'Fallon'

Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience is almost in sight (you can stream it, or check out our impulsive reviews). Last night, on night two of Timberlake’s week-long run on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, the singer mixed forward vision with winking hindsight. A barbershop version of classic 2006 album FutureSex/LoveSounds‘ still-futuristic “SexyBack” amusingly sent the song back even earlier than the big bands of 20/20 cuts like “Suit & Tie” (he did, however, technically wear a suit and tie). For the evening’s performance from the new record, a tieless Timberlake and his sharp-as-nails band did the clap-along power ballad “Mirrors,” although unlike the song’s previous made-for-TV incarnations, this one included the album version’s out-of-nowhere outro. All of which seem like as good a reason as any to remind you Prince is performing on Saturday night at South By Southwest.

Once Timberlake completes the NBC takeover he kicked off last weekend on Saturday Night Live, he will take over, um, the CW. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the network will air a JT TV special at 8 p.m. on March 19, the same day the new album arrives. There will be performances! And interviews! And it will be called… Target Presents the iHeartRadio Album Release Party With Justin Timberlake. In a strange coincidence, that might also have been the name of a widely circulated Led Zeppelin concert bootleg. (No, it wasn’t.)

What’s more, another “Suit & Tie” remix has emerged. Four Tet already dismembered the song in his own reworking. Now, in another revamp billed as official, Belgian space-disco gurus Aeroplane — who three years ago reportedly broke up — have returned with perhaps the most compelling take on the song, yet. If you can’t get past JT’s “doozy when she does it” hamming, you’re still out of luck, but this six-and-a-half-minute turns the original into a fantastical Balearic getaway while keeping just the right amount of horns. Jay-Z’s verse doesn’t really fit here, but a finger-snapping, down-pitched bridge does. Like neither suit, nor tie, but glove. (Scroll down to listen.)