Timberlake Rocks The Body -- Ignores The Mind
By Christy Lemire AP Entertainment Writer
This is the primary conclusion we can reach after listening to his new album, "FutureSex/Love Sounds," (Jive) which features titles like "Sexy Ladies'' and "Damn Girl'' and lyrics that leave little to the imagination.
"I'll let you whip me if I misbehave,'' the formerly squeaky-clean 'N Sync star from Memphis purrs on the first single, "SexyBack," in which he now famously threatens to bring sexy back, as if it ever went anywhere in the first place. Then again, Prince -- clear-ly one of the major influences here -- wasn't exactly subtle about expressing what he wanted in his early days, either. "D.M.S.R." was about dance, music, sex and romance. And that was it.
Repeated listens, though, reveal that Timberlake isn't just a big boy talking a big game. Musically, he has evolved since his 2003 solo debut, "Justified,'' and while he isn't a completely original force of his own just yet, he's at least smart enough to borrow and blend in creative, ambitious ways. Except for "Losing My Way," an out of place, gos-pel-tinged tune about a crack addict seeking redemption, the results are insanely catchy.
Having produced and written nearly the entire album with Timbaland and Nate (Danja) Hills, he relies heavily on hip-hop and its predominate themes: checking out the ladies at a club, inviting them back to the VIP room for champagne, enumerating the various things he'd like to do to them as the night progresses.
The come-on is blunt but fitting, since "FutureSex/LoveSounds" is obviously intended as prime club music - the tracks often flowing one into the next, the beats and bass lines and Timberlake's falsetto layering on top of one other as the songs build to their crescendos. The album could easily be consumed as a whole, something that rarely seems to be the intention anymore: Put it on at the beginning, leave it on until it ends, and that's your whole night right there.
Thematically, it's not all that complicated - not that that's what you're looking for in a dance album.
As ideal as "FutureSex/LoveSounds" would be as the soundtrack for a night of partying, though, it might function even more effectively as getting-ready-to-go-out music. You know -- you're blasting something on the stereo as you're picking out a cute little number to wear, applying mascara and lip gloss and getting psyched up for whatever adventure lies in store.
Justin is there for you, making you feel like the hottest girl on the dance floor, even before you leave the house. Maybe he is bringing sexy back after all.