After dropping our Review Royale of the new Justin Timberlake album this week, we thought it would be a good idea to tackle artists that have gone solo for our list this week. We already broke down the best albums released by an artist after going solo in honor of Jack White releasing his first solo record. So we thought, “Why not just look at solo artists career as a whole, after leaving their band/group.” Easy enough to find plenty to pick from, but exceedingly difficult to pick just ten for this particular list. We had to axe a couple that simply didn’t have enough solo material to justify putting them above more established solo musicians (Dan Auerbach and Jack White). We just can’t be sure which direction people with just one solo album will go. Back to the band or keep going on their own. Either way, there were some very tough cuts, but we think we came away with a list worthy of your attention. Enjoy, and let us know who we missed, left off, or shouldn’t have included at all.
10. Justin Timberlake
Following the “hiatus” of ‘N Sync in 2002, JT quickly released his solo debut Justified. I know of at least a few sophomores and juniors in high school who couldn’t resist the former boy-bander’s cool pop sound. Little did we all know, Justified would serve as merely a bridge to even more progressive and layered pop sounds. FutureSex/LoveSounds and The 20/20 Experience have done more than show off JT’s love of the backslash, affirming Timberlake as pop icon.
Super Bowl halftime shows have had a pretty wide range over the years; starting out with mostly college marching bands and currently sometimes ending up in huge controversy (like the above or M.I.A. last year). For the past twenty years or so, though, the halftime show has settled into two categories for the most part: aging rock star or in-the-moment pop sensations. There just hasn’t been a lot of imagination. I truly believe, and so do Todd and Wes deep down even though they won’t admit it, the combination of Aerosmith, N’Sync, and Nelly was pretty electric, and a legitimate combination of current and aging talents. Alas, they didn’t make the list. Neither did The Who (decrepit), Madonna (mummified), or the Shania Twain, No Doubt, Sting combination (puzzling). In fact, this list is not nearly as strong as we would have expected, so I ripped to some degree on several acts. Enjoy, and as always let us know what you think in the comments.
10. 2006 – The Rolling Stones
After the 2004 Janet Jackson debacle (blessing?), the NFL decided to trot out a lot of very “safe” acts for some time. Hence, a bunch of old bags of bones (stones?) took the stage in 2006 and sounded much smaller than the event demands. As a consolation, the stage is phenomenal, and Keith Richards puppet-master continues to get paid for his superb work.
With All Hallows Eve on the horizon, we thought it fitting to list out our favorite tracks that best celebrate the holiday. Many, many songs were optioned for this list and the race was so tight we decided to eliminate all soundtracks or scores. It is a separate list for a different day because there are just too many good ones. Additionally almost every Odd Futre or Tyler, the Creator track was discussed to the point we decided to just list him here as his own entity. Everything that man touches sounds like a nightmare, but one in which I frequently enjoy. So without further ado, I give you are favorite tracks for any Halloween or Werewolf Bar Mitzvah alike:
All it took was the one and only Coachella music festival to bring Tupac back from the dead…at least in Obi-Wan Kenobi hologram form. A hundred grand plus and the unequaled genius of Dr. Dre was what proved necessary to display Tupac’s hologram performing “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Gangstaz” with Snoop Dogg (for those with a more technical interest in the technology used, see this article). The shocker is that, from the youtube videos and first-hand reports, the hologram actually looked pretty good. This may not prompt the esteemed writers of LxL to rush out and buy tickets for the inevitable tour of Tupac reborn (who am I kidding, I’m in), but it did get the ball rolling on which deceased musicians we would like to see show up at a music festival near us. Our preference would be that these legends show up in hologram form, as opposed to zombified (aka Bob Dylan’s most recent tours), because zombies give us the willies. Enjoy, and let us know who you would like to see brought to computer-generated life.
10. Notorious B.I.G./Ol’ Dirty Bastard
Alright, so maybe the connection between Notorious and ODB are tenuous at best (Jay-Z sampled ODB’s “Brooklyn Zoo” for his track “Brooklyn’s Finest”, which contains a verse by Notorious). But with the power of post-humus production, we would like to see a Watch The Throne-esque collaboration featuring Big Poppa and Big Baby Jesus in a feast for the ears. Yes, ODB went by Big Baby Jesus for a period of time during his late-career nosedive.
It’s fair to say that there are plenty of overrated things in the entertainment industry. HBO’s Entourage, Michael Bay, the entire clan of Kardashians (not just Kim), and essentially everything in the vein of “Hollywood life” or “Los Angeles culture” all lead the pack in worthless assets to the industry that should make people cringe, and maybe even throw-up in their mouth a little bit. Close behind all of these resides a special spot for the worthlessness of the Super Bowl halftime show. Don’t get me wrong, I love football, and the Super Bowl itself, and all the fun and hype that come along with it. But over the years, the halftime shows have just become a chore to watch. In fact there are really only two non-nudity involved halftime shows that have really ever stood out to me, and last nights performance was actually one of them.