I apologize for the elevated degree of anger on this one, but...It's honesty hour, folks.
How about we all stop lying and admit that Justin Timberlake's new music stinks?
We asked for it — hell, we begged for it — and now we're stuck listening to this terrible shit while refusing to admit we were wrong. It wasn't enough that he mic-dropped his career and went out on top; we greedy bastards had to have more, and now we're left paying the price by listening to him list his award show ensemble at glacial pace. And the excuses. "Oh, it's really just the Jay-Z part of that track that's bad!" you tell your friends. Or, "It just takes a while to get into it!" you say to your reflection in the mirror. No! No. We're so selfish that we coulda been listening to a 24-hour loop of Rihanna's "Stay" like most normal humans would prefer, but instead, we're forced to hear slow-jams my mom likes by the the best of Ryan Gosling's childhood friends. What went wrong?
Justin excelled at heartbreak ballads and "imma make you mine" party tunes, but now? He's gone soft. Timby should be delivering us an updated version of "Like I Love You" while moonwalking around a girl at a bar who's trying to turn away and brush him off. You know, that thing where he corners her at every angle with his smooth moves and fancy footwork until he wins her over, throws an arm around her shoulder and winks back at the camera before it fades to black like an old Looney Tunes episode? I don't know cinematography; I know Timberlake. That's Justin Timberlake. Not bro'ing down with Jay-Z about goddamn tuxedos. This man brought us the "waaaaah-woo-woo-ooh-ooh" of "Senorita". His weakest track was "Damn, Girl", and there are easily hundreds of men who have singlehandedly sealed the deal because that song was playing at the right time of night. Hell, he even gave us Janet Jackson's titty! And after nearly seven years of retirement, he's giving us...this?
It sucks, but marriage is the worst thing that's ever happened to Justin Timberlake. Take a listen to "Mirror". Take a deep, hard listen to it. Hear anything weird? It's ALTER TALK. So, what, you turned your vows into a ballad? We don't want your vows, homie. We want sweet party jams we can scurry up behind strangers to and fake hump 'em without them realizing. We want your slow dittys to console us when we're sad, and remind us that one day our ex might get fat and bash in a few car windows and get a terrible haircut while we give acting a shot just 'cuz we feel like it.
We don't want to hear you sing "You Are-You Are-The Love-Of My Life" again and again and again and a fucking gain within the span of one song. We don't give a fuck that you're looking right at the other half of you. Who? Who's the other half of you? Mary Camden? She's as vanilla as a pull-top sundae cup; as flavorless as a sandwich made from two slices of homemade recycled paper with a Whole Foods bag for filling. We get it, Jessica Biel has some sort of magic vaginal vortex, but singing in robotic tone that she's all roses and rainbows and kittens hugging unicorns isn't going to make this situation any better for either of us.
When I was in high school, I took two months off academic classes to make a CD, because my public school was bizarrely artsy and this was their wacky solution to senioritis. Those songs were, how do I put this delicately — like a serving of Ants on a Log, if there was shit in place of the peanut butter. And raisins. And celery; it was just layer atop layer of amateur shit. And, after taking a listen to "Mirror"'s lyrics — a real listen — all I could think was, "Good god, this sounds like something I wrote." Yep, something off of Shitty's Greatest Hits, volume 1.
Don't believe me? Lets play a quick double blind game*:
Which of these is an actual new Justin Timberlake lyric?
1. "Roses are red and I'm blue without you, baby..."
2. "Yesterday's history, and tomorrow's a mystery"
3. "When I look up to the moon, all I see is you girl"
*AP Statistics was one of those classes I took during my semester o' singin', so I have no idea what double blind actually means.
THE SECOND ONE. I'm not even going to give you time to ponder the answer because you shouldn't have to. That is an actual lyric by our generation's answer to Michael Jackson. You have GOT to be kidding me with this shit. Stop fronting, America. Justin Timberlake's new music is terrible, and it's time we face the facts.
Or, at least, see if we can get him to re-release this one. I think we'd all be unanimously cool with that: