Justin Timberlake’s new album came as a surprise when he announced it in January, but you’d have to be in the midst of some kind of media detox not to know about it this week. Fresh off hosting and performing as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live this weekend, Timberlake streamed his new album, The 20/20 Experience, in full via iTunes, and he also snapped up some connoisseur cred with a Four Tet remix of lead single “Suit & Tie” that was, remarkably, more fun than the relatively staid original. Last night, he performed album opener “Pusher Love Girl” and gave an interview on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, in the first show of a week-long stand.
The chat allowed Timberlake to address his apparent SNL reproach of Kanye West, who infamously said he doesn’t “fuck with” Timberlake’s Jay-Z collaboration — “I absolutely love Kanye,” JT said, sounding less “Suit & Tie” than mere suit — and to joke, twice, in a high-pitched voice that generated awkward-seeming laughter, “4 Chainz!”
His leather-jacketed performance of the D’Angelo-tinged neo-soul number “Pusher Love Girl” was imminently smooth, and once again the backing band was impeccable, though as songs comparing love to a drug go, it’s not exactly Ke$ha’s “Your Love Is My Drug,” let alone Timberlake’s own “LoveStoned” (or Nine Inch Nails’ “The Perfect Drug,” or Bananarama’s “Your Love Is Like a Drug,” or…).
According to Billboard, JT’s still projected to sell a half million in the week after The 20/20 Experience comes out on March 19.