Bowie and Timberlake: Who Came Out of Retirement Better?

Both David Bowie and Justin Timberlake, you may recall, announced (or coyly hinted at; it still might just be a Myspace party) the release of new music earlier this week, which is very exciting.

So who did the better job of emerging from musical retirement? Are you for elegant restraint or teasing videos and countdown clocks? There are no wrong answers, except the correct answer is definitely David Bowie, now and forever. Justin Timberlake is fun and I like counting as much as the next guy, but he's still got about 29 albums to go before he can make announcements the same week as Bowie.

Let's try an exercise in comparisons, like the technician has you do at the optometrist.

Is this better?




Or this?





Do you find yourself more excited by this?

The elegiac balladry of Where Are We Now? isn't particularly representative, [collaborator Tony Visconti] says. "The album is eclectic, it's got five really blistering rock tracks. The rest is really mid-tempo, mysterious and evocative. He's been obsessed with medieval English history, which, believe it or not, makes great material for a rock song. And contemporary Russian history, which makes a great rock song. The subject matter he choses to write about is amazing. The Next Day is a song about a tyrant, let me leave it at that. One thing the album's got is a lot of substance. You're going to have to listen to it many times, because the lyrical content's going to take a long time to absorb.

"It's got an instantly familiar sound, because the band are rocking away and it's David Bowie's voice. He's singing very low-key on the single. A lot of people have misinterpreted that, thinking that he's going to sound old and frail on this record, but for that song he wanted to sound vulnerable. Big difference. Elsewhere, he's singing in full voice, that voice you hear on Heroes, so loud that I literally had to step away from him in the studio."

Or by this?

[N]ot just a song, but a full album produced by longtime collaborator Timbaland. Timberlake is believed to have around 20 new tracks recorded. A source familiar with the project confirms to Billboard that Timberlake is definitely releasing a new album more sooner than later.

Please tally up the scores and mail them to us right away.

Also, which made you feel more heavily aware of your own mortality this week: Bowie's new video or this NYT article about the dying nurse? No wrong answer here.

[Image via AP]