By Kyle Killgore
The former Mouskateer and *NSYNC superstar, Justin Timberlake, released his third solo album on Mar. 19, 2013, being pieced together by producers J-Roc and Timbaland.
Timberlake’s sound in this album goes away from the modern pop sound. The way I see it, the album comes off as a very sophisticated R&B sound. I was impressed with many of the musical elements that were meticulously fitted together to make this album. I’m not a huge fan of synthesizers and computer generated beats, but the use of jazz grooves throughout the album provides balance.
There seems to be more emphasis put on the musicianship in this album. It’s still Justin Timberlake, the heartthrob of many teenage girls from the late 1990s and early 2000s, and he is just as powerful in this album as he ever was. His attention-getting, smooth falsetto now works well with an R&B sound, rather than the normal pop sound with deep basses and overly repetitive beats.
However, I don’t feel that the same level of effort was put in on the lyrics. I wasn’t a fan of the fact that several of the songs still have very shallow pop references, alluding to cheesy come-ons and sex. I was shown that Timberlake is a pop singer, rather than a great lyricist.
The best song on the album was released as the second single, “Mirrors.” This song not only has the musical diversity that is displayed throughout the album, but also more sophisticated lyrics.
Overall, I was impressed with the new style that Timberlake is trying to impose on the pop music industry. This album goes in many different directions and there is something for nearly all music lovers.
Timberlake will be promoting the album on the “Legends of Summer” tour with fellow artist Jay-Z. Timberlake also announced that the “second half,” of the album will likely be released in November.
Kyle Killgore is a junior majoring in communications. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org