Good MusicNote 2.5 holy grail JAY Z FEATURING JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

Or is it the other way around…

single: “Holy Grail“

artist: Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake

The introspective sibling of “New York State of MInd,” “Holy Grail” is a sprawling tag-team effort that reads initially like two different songs: in the first, JT sings plaintively to a neglectful partner; one wonders if he got together with this girl after Bruno Mars wrote “Grenade” about her. In the second, Jay Z ruminates Michael Jackson-style about fame (i.e., plays the victim).

By the time Jay hands the microphone back to JT the second time, it’s clear they’re on the same page, singing the same complaining song–Justin is simply being a little more oblique.

It’s a great way to package an opening shot to the record-buying public. It’s also fun to see Jay Z (of all rappers) coasting along on the power of his featured singer. Justin gets way more time and leaves the more memorable mark on the song. Jay Z gets a plum breakdown spotlight in the middle of the record, but other than that, this appears to be business as usual for Mr. Carter.

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