January 11, 2013 No comments yet
Wow. Despite telling us that he wasn’t dropping a song until Monday, everyone got JT fever for a song they thought was dropping yesterday, which turned out to be a teaser/trailer video announcing a new Justin Timberlake aka Da Gawd Justin Timberlake bka The Panty Dropper Justin Timberlake fka Rikki-Tikki-Tavi The Sex Mongoose Justin Timberlake album produced by Timbaland. *High Pitched Girl Squeal* Anyways, we got to feeling some thangs and revisited our favorite JT songs to prepare our bodies for Monday. You should too, because you should always preheat the oven before you cram the turkey in (metaphor for sex [and good 'ol plain advice]). Used to want the *NSYNC-era Justin Timberlake tight curls with the highlights. Still do.
This is one of those songs that resonates with me even though I have never personally gone through this situation. I just can’t deny the arrangement/production that Timbaland, Danja, and Scott Storch laid out. The way the bridge changes, the setup of everything, and the swirling keys make this song easily identifiable and stand out from the rest of modern pop fodder. And to top it all off, it even lead to some producer beef, and Timbaland coining the phrase “Piano” on the danceable diss record “Give It To Me”. Timbaland and Scott Storch both argued that they were the brains behind the song, because with the song being such a huge success they wanted to cash in on the follow up efforts by copycat artists. Scott Storch said that Timbaland had a pack of franks on the back of his neck, but that still didn’t stop him from losing the beef. JT leads to wars.
Lovestoned is a great song. It’s got great production, a pretty slick groove and tells a great tale of spotting that one really bad chick at the club but, It’s the “I think she knows Interlude” that propels it to greatness. One by One the various elements drop out leaving only JT beat-boxing and a string section, and then everything drains out for a split second and is replaced with a reverb heavy guitar playing a melodic guitar line that let’s us know the show isn’t over.
A more restrained instrumental starts to take form, taking the song from a club ready tale of seduction to a love song tour de force, complete with Justin adding a lil’ more oomph to his delivery. The transition is flawless, and the resulting two part opera is grand. Seems someone fell in love with a bad bitch.
For added emphasis, here’s John Mayer playing same (like the G that he is).
It took a lot for me to come around on Justin Timberlake. During junior high, half of my AIM contacts were a variation of “MzTimberlake99.” And when the mean girls chose the girl they didn’t like, she got called “Mrs. Fatone.” That singing, dancing, bleached blonde puffball and the rest of *NSTINK set a ridiculously high bar for us neighborhood dudes. It was hell. I was the starting center on the basketball team AND won the spelling bee but all I got was “So? You ain’t Justin, scrub.”
So when FutureSex/LoveSounds came out, I greeted it with a big “So what?” and put my headphones back on to listen to some T.I. But at a party, “Chop Me Up” came on. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that Justin Timberlake was fucking with the Three 6 Mafia. And when the beat switched? I hit the screwface. Timbaland is a fool for this one. I’ve been on the JT train ever since.
“I’m Lovin’ It” comes by way of the same braintrust that crafted Justin Timberlake’s sonically adventurous debut, Justified. Released almost a year after the album as a promotional single for Timberlake’s Live in London DVD concert special, the reason it’s not a forgotten throwaway is mostly due to its use in McDonald’s ever-evolving ad campaign. But, the reason it remains one of my favorite JT songs ever is because of the true X-Factor: The Neptunes. Deep in the middle of their early 00’s run, it’s no surprise that Pharrell and Chad could make magic with Justin in the studio, but “I’m Lovin’ It” sounds like an amalgam of their sound refined for supreme pop service. The dissonant, yet bright, chords, the double-tracked hand claps, the harmonies, (some from Pharrell himself) the verse to mid-bridge to-hook transition — then the melodic “oh’s” at the end of the second verse (pure bliss); all an example of how the commercial (literally) and accessible can still be seamlessly original. The beat compliments the vocals (conga drums intensifying with the crescendo of the cadence) and the vocals compliment the beat (Timberlake’s ad-libs and, even more impressively, his restraint) culminate in one of the most enjoyable songs to never see itself on an LP. Now go bump this at ratchet levels while you soak your fingers in McRib sauce!
Now, let me get this straight. All of the internet is BUZZING right now about Justin Timberlake but I strongly feel that no one missed him more than me–save for a few of my equals, all consisting of my close friends. I went to the FutureSex/LoveSounds show after the album came out (if you want to hear stories, I got em). I bought the Live at MSG Concert DVD (if you haven’t seen it you’re doing it SO WRONG). I’ve watched that DVD more than any other DVD in my collection, my last viewing was about 2 weeks ago, actually. I was in a sorority for a lil bit in college (i know gasp) and we would watch that concert almost too frequently. Get on my level, internet.
Anyways, I talk about Justin Timberlake a lot and to a lot of people, basically anyone. He’s one of my favorite subjects–also of note in my life is Beyonce (duh). Well, the other day I believe I was discussing the album with my comrade Lloyd and he brought up this version of “Until the End of Time.” Alright, this is my confession. If I have ever heard this version before last month it’s packed away somewhere in my unconscious because I legit did not remember it. The album my dad illegally downloaded for me when it came out DEFINITELY didn’t have it. Prior to hearing the version with B, this was not a track I really went back to on FS/LS but–put Beyonce on the track and turn it into a lovely duet and just take my heart and keep it forever. It’s been on regular rotation since my (re)discovery so if you’re like me and you happened to somehow miss this, let the devastatingly romantic ballad carry you away.
BONUS: Justin Timberlake – “My Love” (Live at Madison Square Garden)
Now. Drop. That. Shit. Right. Now. Best part of the DVD. Although, as soon as I say that I can think of about 80 other parts.