Justin Timberlake – Filthy

Tom: I didn’t get Can’t Stop The Feeling on first listen. It seemed like a bit of a mess. But it grew on me, and now it’s one of my favourite songs of… well, huh, 2016? Man, that stuck around. Anyway, here’s the new one.

Tim: Is that…is that a song about an orgy? With the ‘your friends, my friends, and they ain’t leaving til six in the morning’, and then ‘put your hands all over me…what you gonna do with all that beast’? Because, well, I mean I get the attraction, but come on, it’s January, we’re all still heavy from Christmas and to be honest you’ve got me feeling a bit queasy right now.

Tom: I mean, that lyric’s straight from Gin and Juice, but sure, I know what you mean. Better hope this is a grower, anyway: because this is a good one-minute intro and first verse stretched far, far too long.

Tim: Yeah, let’s just move on. Quickly please.

Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling!

“Could there be a better place for this track than Eurovision?”

Tim: I know it’s a couple of months old, but this kind of slipped me by and I think we should discuss just what a really, really fantastic track it is. For a Euro vibe, remember when actual Justin Timberlake performed at Eurovision?!?!?!

Tim: Because man, what a chorus that is.

Tom: It really is! I wasn’t expecting much at all from a movie tie-in song, but it’s great.

Tim: Normally, I’d complain about a fairly short loop being on heavy repetition even coming out of the middle eight, not to mention actually before it starts – but damn, it’s just so good, I don’t care that it feels too long. Even if the verses weren’t pretty good, even if the instruments underneath weren’t full of such fun and intense vibes, that chorus might still be enough to clinch it. But as it is, it’s an enormous layer of icing on top of an already fairly large musical cake.

And could there be a better place for this track than Eurovision?

Tom: The strange thing is, yes. Because I think it’s a grower. I didn’t really like it the first time I heard it: it just sort of washed over me. Surrounded by so many other songs, it was too much. Hearing it again on its own: yes, this is good.

Tim: Hmm, you may have a point – but think. It comes with an immense party vibes, and OH just look at that aerial shot from 5:20 – there are bigger arenas, vastly bigger – but how many of them come together specifically for a massive party, in pure celebration of pop music? Not many, I’ll wager. Backing that up, and my particular favourite moment in this performance: the look on his face just after 4 minutes in, where he suddenly seems to realises that actually this twee Eurovision thing’s a bit big, isn’t it?

Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake – Love Never Felt So Good

“Blatant cash-in, right?”

Tom: New Michael Jackson album. Blatant cash-in, right? Rip out some old unreleased material, the fans’ll lap it up. Well, not quite. See, the thing about Michael Jackson is that even his unreleased tracks are pretty damn good.

Tom: Particularly when they’re given a modern production boost that still, somehow, sounds like it came out of Motown — and backing vocals from the only still-credible member of ‘N Sync.

Tim: Hmm. I’m always nervous when this sort of thing comes out because I almost feel pressured to like it, a bit like Get Lucky. It’s alright, and perfectly serviceable, but I can’t say it does much for me. Though I can’t see it ever being as annoying as I now find Get Lucky.

Tom: Sure, it’s not a Thriller, it’s not a Black or White. But it’s still better than a heck of a lot of the tracks that come our way; even when the King of Pop went by-the-numbers, they were pretty damn good numbers.

Tim: Yes, I definitely can’t deny that.

Tom: And if it’s not modern enough for you, I reckon this remix will do you nicely. It certainly worked for me.

Tim: Oh well actually yes that’ll do very nicely indeed. Cheers.

Europlop’s Sunday Mashups: Vol. 2

Thirty years of pop culture in three and a half minutes.

Tom: It’s been a few weeks, so let’s have some more mashups. First of all, here’s Miracles by Norwegian Recycling.

Tom: It’s one of those genius mashups that pulls in a dozen different sources to make a coherent whole. It doesn’t really seem to go anywhere, or do any building, but it’s just rather pleasant to listen to. It’s a run through thirty years of pop culture in three and a half minutes, and the video brings it all together nicely.

Tim: Ooh, I like that – I’ve always quite liked mashups that pile in a whole load of songs together just to see what happens, such as the United State of Pop ones, and Party Ben‘s Boulevard of Broken Songs, and this one pulls it off well.*

* There’s also Axis of Awesome’s Four Chord Song, which whilst not actually being a mashup is still fun to listen to.

Tom: There’s been some very clever autotuning on Cee-Lo Green, as well; while it still sounds like him, I’m fairly sure those aren’t exactly the notes he was originally singing…

Tim: Well, with so many songs you’re bound to need a little pitch correction on there just to keep them in the same key, surely.

Tom: No, it’s more than that: I think they’ve actually got him singing a different melody, not just a different key. I might be wrong, though.

Tim: The only thing I dislike about it is the Jason Derulo track – it’s one of his better ones, but it sounds like he forgot to write words to half the chorus, which gets me every time I hear it.

Tom: Second up, here’s a simple A+B mashup by Sam Flanagan. It’s called “Brimful of Bonkers”, and that tells you all you need to know really. Oh, but watch out for an unexpected cameo just after three minutes in.

Tom: It’s easy – there is, of course, not even any pitch correction to do – but it’s still a hell of a party tune. It could use being a bit shorter, but it’s good enough that I don’t really mind.

Tim: I thought that as well – it could easily lose the first verse/chorus, since it’s identical to the second. Anyway, you’re right, it is good, especially the cameo.

Tom: I know both the original songs off by heart, which normally would just make a mashup like this confusing – but this is just pulled together so nicely that it doesn’t matter.

Tim: Personally, I prefer it when I know the original songs – you get to think ‘Ooh, this is fun – never thought of these going together.’ And speaking of knowing the original songs, here’s a mixture of two Europlop favourites merged together by Benji of Sweden (apparently he’s the only one in the country) to form one big Bromance Killer:

Tim: Aside from the Radio Sweden jingle (which is surprisingly nonintrusive anyway), I think it’s ruddy marvellous, with him still managing to keep the big Lovekiller climax and all the energy that was originally there. Well done Mr Sweden.

Tom: Wow, that’s a belter. Bromance itself is steadily picking up more and more airplay and traction in the UK – the vocal remix with Love U Seek gets released on 25th October, which means it might well be a Big Autumn Hit.