Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Listening Post

Look, let's face it -- if you're folding your arms across your chest and sneering disapprovingly at Justin Timberlake at this point you're probably just a contrarian asshole. Over the past several years the kid has proven himself to be, without question, one of the most impressive talents of his generation. He killed this past weekend on Saturday Night Live, hosting for a fifth time; he's about to kick off a summer stadium tour with Jay-Z; and this song, the first single from his new album, is the definition of irresistible. It's blue-eyed soul at its finest, with more infectious swagger than, say, Mayer Hawthorne but the same sense of devotion to the greatness of the source material.

Plus, the video is directed by David Fincher.

Here's Suit & Tie.


Nietzsche's Peach Fuzz said...

YES! this.

I find those who pile on the JT hate do so to be cool or contrary or buck the fucking trend or blahblah. The guy has skills and I appreciate the fact that he doesn't churn out album after album after album to stay relevant and make money.

Chez said...

People have been trying to lump this label on someone for a while now, but it works for Timberlake. He really is this generation's Sinatra (if there's one to be had at all). The neo-rat pack feel of this video and what will no doubt be JT's stage show kind of cements it.

Nick said...

Well...if the shoe fits:

I don't care for his voice.

But then I didn't care for Seals and Crofts back in the day. Or that falsetto dude The Doobie Brothers added (further back in the day.) And when Fleetwood Mac kicked the blues for soft rock...ah, don't get me started and you kids get off my grass.

Call it a personal preference for male singers whose balls have dropped.


Further deepening my contrarian asshole credentials, I also don't care for rap. I like my music...well, musical. And that does not mean 'sampled' cuts tracked behind the poets. Because rap tends (an 'in for a penny, in for a pound' generalization) toward prose more than music.

Yes, I am aware that some music behind these poets is original, but that seems i.) such a small percentage as to be a non-issue (certainly just my opinion), and ii.) beside the main point.

Which is rap is not music. It's prose/poetry with a score.


You mention hosting SNL 5 times.

Surely you are aware SNL is such a whore they vacuum up everything topical and present it sans a critical eye? Steve Martin would no more host SNL 5 times today that Paul Simon would; Timberlake is simply the current zeitgeist golem.

I'm not sneering; Timberlake is obviously a talented artist.

I'm saying there is no way to honestly compare his voice to Frank, Sammie or Dino out of context.

But then...in the eye of the beholder, right?

Chez said...

Well, that was -- didactic.

Stephen said...

"But then...in the eye of the beholder, right?"

Or ear in this case, but that's the joy of music. I'm a lifelong deadhead but this song is now lodged in my brain and will be on my ipod tomorrow. The kid's very talented. I'll hold off on the Sinatra label until the mob muscles him into an oscar winning role though.