Every so often I make up a mix CD of my favorite songs at the moment; mostly new songs, but with some old songs sprinkled in for flavor. I thought it’d be a neat feature of this new blog to go through, song-by-song, and explain a little about why it appeals to me.
Justin Timberlake‘s career has been an eventful one. From his stint on The Mickey Mouse Club at a young age, to one-fifth of one of the hottest bands of the nineties, to a successful solo recording career, now to a promising acting career. It’s easy to admire his Madonna-like tendency to constantly redefine himself, but it’s also easy to discount him as over-rated and part of the new out-of-control youth celebrity movement. But when it comes down to it, he, like every artist, should be judged on the basis of his craft.
Obviously, the appearance of one of his songs, “What Goes Around… Comes Around”, on my CD hints at the fact that I think he is actually a good artist. His music tends to have an infectious beat, and he certainly has the skills to perform it. I credit the former also to his choice of collaborators. In hip hop these days, if you’re not doing something crazy like using live instruments, the key is production. For this album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, Timberlake hooked up with Timbaland, one of the most innovative artists in music today on this side of the pond. (Mr. Land will also appear on this list Monday; one of his contemporaries will show up in about two and a half months).
Also notable about this single is its video, or more accurately, short film. At the time of production, Timberlake was filming Alpha Dog, and got co-star Shawn Hatosy and writer/director Nick Cassavetes to contribute, as well as long-time friend Scarlett Johansson. To me, the video really isn’t impressive outside of the talent involved.
Next time: the world’s most successful single of 2007 so far.