Not counting "curled up in a fetal position on the floor, fingers shoved firmly in ears," there are two ways of listening to the new, leaked Madonna/Justin Timberlake track, "4 Minutes" from Madonna's forthcoming album, Hard Candy:

1. Madonna and Justin Timberlake only have four minutes to save the world, a goal they hope to accomplish with this song, because it's so great. (If this is the case, however, the world is doomed.)

2. Holy Shit! Madonna and Justin Timberlake just realized they only have 4 minutes to save the world, and this song reflects the panic that they're feeling at becoming self-appointed musical superheroes (who, let's face it, are destined for failure).

Personally, I think the second approach makes more sense. In listening to the song, you can almost picture Justin Timberlake, Madonna, and Timbaland running around the studio, arms flailing, turning knobs this way and that, accidentally crashing into mixing boards, panting on their way to the mics, just trying to get a song–any song!–out there. Basically, this track sounds like what you would produce when you have four minutes, and only four minutes, to crank it out–so in that sense it fits the impending apocalypse theme very nicely.


—Considering how much they work together, is it possible Justin Timberlake and Timbaland are Siamese twins?

—Which New Mickey Mouse Club alumni should Madonna cling to for relevancy on her next album? I vote for Keri Russell.

—Why does all recent pop dance music sound as if it were manufactured by evil clowns? I'm serious. How many songs that could double as "nightmare carousel" soundtracks does pop culture need?