Justin, Just Links

My reign as most verbose Justin Timberlake fanboy on the Internet is not yet complete. Thus, some links to augment the review of “SexyBack”.

  • The Observer has a lengthy review/interview on the eve of the publicity tour for FutureSex/LoveSounds:

He’s off again. ‘SexyBack’, an urgent, pulsing track, a cocktail of soaring, distorted vocals and heavy, electronic chords threaded together with rap, seems to be the album’s mission statement. Like many of his new songs, it is musically complex; a fusion of rap, rock, funk, soul, gospel, new wave, opera, world music… everything, really. But it certainly does sexy alright: everyone’s nodding their heads and mopping their brows, and it’s only 8.40am. While the futuristic element looms large – ‘the musical landscape of Tron’, as someone rather lyrically describes it – Timberlake’s familiar percussive beats and high, soulful voice are all still very much in place. ‘That’s the Prince influence,’ he says of the vocals.

  • Kelefa Sanneh in The New York Times points out that pop music is supposed to be sexy. Let’s see here…

Plenty of male pop stars through the ages have flaunted their own appeal. But it’s been nearly two decades since Prince posed naked on the cover of “Lovesexy” (perhaps that coinage helped inspire “SexyBack”), and the taboo against male preening is stronger than ever. For example, “Sexy Love,” a hit by the R&B singer Ne-Yo, conforms to the current status quo: unlike Mr. Timberlake, Ne-Yo goes out of his way to let listeners know he’s describing a woman (“I’m so addicted to how she’s the sweetest drug”), not himself.

  • The requisite link to Justified, Justin Timberlake’s debut solo album. Highly recommended.
  • An interesting Stylus Magazine article reassessing Wham’s Music from the Edge of Heaven. Money quote: “The ‘80s analogue to Justin isn’t Jacko, but George Michael, and not (just) ‘cause he’s a whiter shade of pale.” I disagree, but it’s worth a read.
  • I mentioned Pitchfork and ILX (a.k.a. I Love Music). I didn’t realize a significant number of my readers don’t know these sites; They’re the web’s best sources for pretentious record reviews and pretentious record reviewers, respectively. I say that with no small amount of admiration, since I spent some time with music critics in one of my past lives. At least the ILM crew tends to have a sense of humor. I figured there’d be a thread for me, and hey whadaya know? Here it is.
  • Oh, and despite my hate of jargon, some slipped in last time. “EPK” is the record-industry abbreviation for an electronic press kit; When you see stock footage of an artist plugging their record to an anonymous interviewer, or see the same 3 quotes about their new album show up in every press review, you’re seeing the results of a well-constructed EPK. Think of it as a very elaborate multimedia press release.