Madonna has always been accused of being calculating, but she's not even bothering to hide her black math here. Literally anyone could have a top 10 U.S. radio hit with Timberlake and top-shelf production from Timbaland as your back up. "4 Minutes" is the the best crossover pop music that money can buy, with its infectious brassy horns playing over a massive bass line and bhangra beats, combined with killer hooks. Ironically, Madonna is her own worst enemy here, recycling elements from 2005's "Hung Up" (the "tick-tock"s and once again rhyming "hesitating" with "waiting") and loading up the lyrics with Kabbalist euphemisms like "Sometimes I think what I need is a you intervention." Geez, lighten up Madge. Fortunately, Timberlake knows what time it is and throws out B.S. pick-up lines, because, really, with a track like this, no one gives a s–t what anyone's saying. Congratulations on your (likely) number one hit, Madonna, and this, your first single since 2002 to receive high-rotation U.S. radio play — who says money can't buy happiness? (Warner Bros.)
About Robert J. Ballantyne
Robert J.Ballantyne is a senior editor at Popjournalism and Creative Director at Artsculture.ca. Previously, he was a journalist at the CBC on a number of news programs including the fifth estate, Marketplace and The National. He also worked as a staff writer at the Toronto Star.