An Open Letter to Justin Timberlake

It’s been far too long since Justin Timberlake released any new music. You know this. I know this. Here is an attempt to ensure that Justin himself knows this.

Hey Justin, how’s it going? I heard you got married recently, congratulations! You must be enjoying life at the minute, but please take a moment to reminisce with me. It recently came to my attention that your first solo album, Justified, is now ten years old. Remember making music? You used to do it really well. Adoring fans, critical acclaim, bare riches – you had it all. I know you’ve been getting that Hollywood money and got to stare at Mila Kunis IRL, but you released two phenomenal, Grammy-winning albums and then abandoned us fiends here without a fix.

Ten years ago, no one thought the world would be desperate for new music from a former ‘N Sync member. Sure, I loved “Bye Bye Bye” just as much as everyone else, but going from a boyband (especially this boyband) to solo credibility is a huge jump and not many people make it from one side to the other. You soared across the Canyon of Shattered Dreams and Failed Careers, now we need you to bring SexyBack.

If anyone had doubts because of the whole ‘N Sync thing, then Justified blew away any preconceptions. I mean, you put Clipse on your first single and immediately made it clear that you weren’t fucking around. Then you stepped your game up even further and got The Neptunes to produce virtually the whole thing while they were at the pinnacle of their craft. It had so many highlights: “Cry Me A River” is pop music’s “Hit ‘Em Up“, nothing’s ever sounded more fly than the end of “Señorita” and “Rock Your Body” is the best MJ song since MJ himself was making great MJ songs.

As impressive as Justified was, it took FutureSex/LoveSounds to cement your position as an outstanding solo artist. It’s so wildly innovative and cohesive, in an era where most albums are disposable collections of potential singles. Timbaland handled the bulk of FS/LS’s production and his trademark blend of electronic sounds and hip-hop percussion was present, but he also broke away from that mould and threw sweeping strings, tender piano riffs and a stirring choir into the mix to create the perfect backdrop for your smooth vocals. Then there were those beautiful transitions; songs flowed into each other organically, following on from the cues of the preceding track in a way that I’d never heard before – when “LoveStoned” goes into “I Think She Knows” over EVERYTHING.

In case you’ve forgotten yourself how good those two albums were, has anyone in the history of recorded audio ever had a better run of pop singles than you? You know they haven’t, don’t be modest. The weakest song in that streak became the slogan and theme tune of a little company called McDonald’s.

We all see Bieber trying to run in your lane and have had enough. Please Justin, reclaim your throne, and allow us all to forget that The Love Guru ever happened. Just give us a few features to feast upon if you can’t be bothered to make a whole new album, we’ll take whatever we can get at this point.

Anyways, I hope you get this man, hit me back, just to chat. Truly yours, your biggest fan, this is Dan.

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