How do you properly measure the substance of a year? Time spent with family? The amount of retweets you've garnered on Twitter? Or perhaps the hours you've wasted watching trash TV? Comebacks, for me, are the true measure of a year—stories about resilience and drive and hard work. Here, before we say goodbye to 2014, the year's best comebacks.
Reclusive British singer/songwriter/dancer Kate Bush played her the first of her 22 Before the Dawn shows at London's Hammersmith Apollo last night and people are freaking the fuck out. The show was divided into three sections: an opening hits portion, a theatrical interpretation of The Ninth Wave (the entire Side B of her 1985 Hounds of Love album) about a woman drowning, and another narrative portion using the songs of A Sky of Honey (the second disc of her 2005 comeback album Aerial), at the end of which Bush transforms to a bird. The Guardian's Alexis Petridis summarizes the show's sprawling, and at times absurd spectacle in his review's opening paragraph:
Justin Timberlake's third album, The 20/20 Experience, would be a disappointment were we not adequately prepared to be underwhelmed. This is the kind of album whose mellow, nothing-more-than-nice first single is puzzling until you hear the rest of the album and realize that it's the most commercial pop on a collection whose musical m.o. is to be nothing more than nice. "Suit & Tie," at least, has a sense of spunk, which is more than can be said for most of 20/20. The album sounds like a conscious attempt at musical maturity that is never quite earned or fully realized.
Justin Timberlake performed "Mirrors" from his upcoming 20/20 Experience album at last night's BRIT Awards in London. When that track was released after the Grammy Awards, it seemed like an energizing, skittery return to FutureSex/LoveSounds Justin. In the live context, it was just as dull as his R. Kelly-lite Grammys rendition of "Suit & Tie" and "Pusher Love Girl."
Last time we heard from lite '90s crooner Brian McKnight, he dropped an X-rated slow jam for his conceived (still forthcoming, I hope) adult mixtape that proclaimed, "Let me show you how your pussy works / Betcha didn't know that it could squirt." Now, as so many men do, he's moved onto the butthole. In a song he wrote for user-generated smut site YouPorn, he seduces the masses with: "You wanna see some fucking anal? I can get you close enough to smell."
Literal killer whale Tilikum—the six-ton orca that thrashed a 40-year-old trainer to death in front of a live audience last year—has returned to Sea World's increasingly harrowing killer whale show, "Believe." Apparently the show is an "important component" in Tilikum's "physical, social, and mental enrichment," and trainers will only interact with him from a distance. [NYDN, image via AP]