"He really is bringing sexy back with this injection of difference and maturity into the pop scene..."
Emily Warner

15:56 27th September 2006

The latest album from Justin Timberlake is ‘Futuresex/Lovesounds’ is certainly an interesting listen, mixing the old and the new does it compare to his debut ‘Justified’? To be honest it’s a 50/50 spilt- in some ways yes, in others no.

The album kicks off with its title track, a techno 80’s tinged number with keyboards, synths and a bass line reminiscent of ‘Another One Bites The Dust’.  A saucy opener that sets the mood for Timberlake’s current single ‘Sexy Back’, like ‘Futuresex/Lovesounds’ is a great tune to dance to, but with its own seductive and distinctive sound produced buy the layers of sounds and distorted vocals. He really is bringing sexy back with this injection of difference and maturity into the pop scene.

The 80’s style continues with ‘Sexy Ladies’- a narcissistic song  to say the least; "I know a little girlie from uptown who’s waiting get it to me/ I know a little betty from downtown who’ll do anything that I please", nonetheless it’s a good floor filler, even if it does go on a bit. Flipping from then to now ‘My Love’ is more akin to today’s music with faded rave sound overlaid with beats and strong vocals, and it does alright until what sounds like a wheezing chipmunk starts up in the background. ‘Lovestoned’ is a nod towards Motown and shockingly Timberlake brings in a more epic rock element into his sound with ‘What Goes Around…’. This number cuts a little deeper and gives Timberlake a little more cred as a musician because he shows just how far he can push his boundaries here. The only danger is that the pop purists are more than likely to hit ‘skip’ for this one.

But in complete contrast, the rest of the album, with the exception of ‘Damn Girl’ and ‘Pose’ sounds like your average R n’ B scene- samey and boring. It is as if the album is divided in to two halves- the first is Timberlake’s experimental and serious side, and the latter half is just a fan pleaser. In all honesty it was all too good to be true that the superstar appeared to really take his music seriously by experimenting with his sound, so the chunk of crap that makes up the last part of ‘Futuresex/Lovesounds’ is unsurprising. In an attempt to round off the album ‘Pose’ featuring Snoop Dogg brings back the earlier styles Justin Timberlake used initially, but it doesn’t mask over that fact you’ve had to waste that last 5 or so songs to listen to it.