Sophomore album falls short of previous

Sophomore album falls short of previous

Sophomore album falls short of previous

Jessica MacIntosh

When I first heard Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds, I did not know what to think. In fact, the music sent my head into a whirlwind.

Expecting something similar to his previous album, Justified, the music seemed to be more eclectic. It was all over the place. Timberlake’s sophomore album is a sound of its own with no direction, versus his first album being a mix of hip-hop, pop and R&B. The music is completely wrong for this album, and he fails to bring in his famous beats that held true to the previous one.

In trying to shed his teen, pop-boy band image and trade it in for a parental advisory, Timberlake turns to another hit maker, Timbaland, who-I believe-converted the album into his own. I think Timbaland put more heart and soul into producing the album than he did singing some of the songs. The first single, “SexyBack,” may be catchy and a hit, but didn’t someone tell Timberlake putting your voice through a synthesizer is so late 1990s? He has a beautiful voice; why waste it on shoving it through a computer? In the middle of the album, his voice becomes apparent and recognizable, nothing distorted. He loses points for consistency.

Including the collaboration with Timbaland, the ex-NSYNCer recruits Three 6 Mafia for “Chop Me Up.” For this song, the rapping oversteps Timberlake’s voice. The reliance on collaborations is affecting the way his music sounds. They may work for some songs, but like “Chop Me Up,” it is not Timberlake and his fellow posse. It is going back to the talent he has; if he can’t make an album himself, why make an album at all? At least Justified proved his solo career could go far, but this new album makes me question whether he can work by himself.

Normally a music track would be no longer than three to four minutes – not for this album. The shortest song is two seconds shy of the four-minute mark, while the longest runs approximately seven and a half minutes. Well, that makes two awards for Timberlake-longest song name (“God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You”) and the longest song. Has anyone heard of catchy, short, sweet and to the point? This isn’t a movement in an orchestra.

I like the new sound but it was not Timberlake’s best effort. He needs to go back to his Justified roots and produce an album without the overpowering effects of too many rappers.