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Justin Timberlake Looks Back however Does Not Reckon

Justin Timberlake Looks Back however Does Not Reckon


In some sense, that bitter, prickly sentiment feels extra susceptible than something revealed on his newest album.

Excess and grandiosity waft by means of each Justin Timberlake launch; he has by no means made an album below an hour lengthy. Early in his profession, his ambition helped clip the puppet strings of his boy band picture and set up him as a critical and legit solo artist. His penchant for collaborating with gifted, imaginative producers just like the Neptunes (who labored on nearly all of his 2002 solo debut “Justified”) and Timbaland (who produced most of his 2006 creative breakthrough “FutureSex/LoveSounds”) gave his music a classy edge. But because the second quantity of his “20/20 Experience,” launched in 2013, Timberlake’s as soon as expansive imaginative and prescient has grow to be myopic, providing diminished returns.

“Everything I Thought It Was” is Timberlake’s longest album thus far — 18 tracks unfold throughout 77 minutes — and provided that, it’s exceptional how little it has to say. Produced with an assortment of collaborators, together with Calvin Harris, Cirkut and his trusty pal Timbaland, “Everything” is aggressively knob-happy, swapping out innumerable filters and coating Timberlake’s voice in each possible impact. The first two tracks, the morose “Memphis” and the slick “[Expletive] Up the Disco,” play as if they had been made by somebody who not too long ago discovered the decades-old methods of pitch-shifting and artfully Auto-Tuning vocals, and may be very enthusiastic about their discovery.

Abandoning the folksy aesthetic of “Man of the Woods,” “Everything” returns to Timberlake’s consolation zone: Gleaming, flippantly profane disco jams that think about dance-floor seduction as a sort of interstellar odyssey. The outcomes are combined. The enjoyable, vampy “Play” flippantly pushes the bounds of wedding ceremony funk, whereas the much less profitable and sadly named “Infinity Sex” indulges in a few of the album’s most groan-worthy lyrics (“I do know the deal with in your mattress”). Midway by means of the upbeat party tune “My Favorite Drug,” Timberlake breaks right into a spoken phrase, ladies-and-fellas call-and-response that gestures again to his early hit “Señorita.” “I do know I did it earlier than,” he intones, inadvertently articulating the album’s thesis assertion, “however I’mma do it once more.”

Timberlake has been married to the actress Jessica Biel for 11 years, so the breakup songs scattered throughout the album are workouts in creativeness or, as Timberlake hinted in that Zane Lowe interview, reminiscence. He claimed that writing a few of these songs allowed him to “look again on the previous” and “metabolize and verbalize my perspective on it.” He added, “I don’t assume I’ve ever actually completed that earlier than.”

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