Acclaimed Albums – FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake

List item: Listen to the 1000 Most Acclaimed Albums
Progress: 325/1000
Title: FutureSex/LoveSounds
Artist: Justin Timberlake
Year:  2006

I think I missed the memo about FutureSex/LoveSounds getting a bit of a re-evaluation. Like, enough of a re-evaluation that means it has ended up being ranked this highly among all the non-classical music albums ever released. At the time it got moderately positive notice and was in some end of year lists, but it was more one of those albums that did very well commercially than critically. Well here we are anyway and I thought that, given all the furor that came out since the Britney Spears documentary, I might as well try it on for size.

Before this listen I knew three of the four singles. I loved ‘What Goes Around/Comes Around’, quite liked ‘My Love’ and was left moderately unmoved by ‘SexyBack’. Like I can’t deny the influence that ‘SexyBack’ temporarily had on discourse to the point that cable news presenters were using the formula that ‘X is bringing Y back’ in a strange attempt at relevance – but as a song it is repetitive, non-sensical and to me just a bit dull.

Now I am listening to this as a whole album, ‘What Goes Around/Comes Around’ and ‘My Love’ stand out a lot. On this more recent listen, my thoughts around ‘My Love’ have really improved to the point that I think it’s actually a really good song I could imagine dancing to… if I was so inclined to have gone to clubs instead of staying at home and playing Mario Kart Wii. I promise I was fun in my uni days, it’s just that being teetotal kinda limits your options when you have a base level of social anxiety.

The rest of the album, however, is just a bit blah. Like from the beginning you see Timberlake trying to bring in some new wave elements to bring forth some favourable comparisons to early Prince – and to some extent it works, but the album is a bit too much hodge-podge with word salad lyrics to work for me. I also don’t think it helps that this album is almost a double act between Timberlake and Timbaland – and that does not work for me. At least there are some songs on here that I legitimately love, not many albums can say that.

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