One was a return to music after a seven-year hiatus. The other arrived via a phone app. Both albums came with overwhelming publicity, television spots and high-profile performances. Now, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z are on the road for the “Legends of the Summer” tour and they’re bringing their new, respective albums — “The 20/20 Experience” and “Magna Carta Holy Grail” — with them.
But in a showdown of the heavyweight releases, who wins?
amNewYork has your tale of the tape:
JAY-Z -- WINNER
Jay-Z featuring JT: The first voice heard on Jay-Z’s album is … Justin Timberlake’s, on the album opener, “Holy Grail.” It’s almost like he’s Jay-Z’s opening act. Well played, Mr. Carter.
JT featuring Jay-Z: Hov’s verse on “Suit and Tie” could not have been more mailed in if it had arrived by pony.
BETTER PROMOTIONAL TIE-IN
The first million copies of “Magna Carta Holy Grail” were distributed via a Samsung-specific smartphone app, though the launch of the program was buggy for many.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE -- WINNER
The Target-Timberlake marriage produced one of the best viral commercials of the year, when the singer surprises his fans on the set of the spot.
Not enough. Hey, did you know Jay-Z is rich? Because he’ll tell you. Often.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE – WINNER
Many of the album’s songs seem to switch gears completely at their midpoints.
HOME LIFE ON RECORD -- DRAW
“Jay Z Blue” is quite clearly about Mr. Carter’s daughter, Blue Ivy. While the language makes it less than nursery friendly, the sentiment behind a line like “Looking in your eyes is like a mirror, have to face my fears” is sweet enough.
“Mirrors” could easily be interpreted as a love letter to Timberlake’s wife, Jessica Biel, and with lines like “I’m looking right at the other half of me,” get ready for it to be played at a generation of weddings.
WHERE DOES IT RANK – DRAW
Better than “Collision Course,” the crossover EP with Linkin Park.
Better than ’NSYNC.
Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake present the Legends of the Summer Tour at Yankee Stadium on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., 718-293-4300, $49-$279.50.