O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

Talk To Me, Boy

Andy Allison ponders whether he's losing Justin Timberlake, just like he lost Kylie before and Stevie Wonder before that. Will Andy's open letter to Justin save their relationship before it's too late? Are you listening, Justin?

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Andy Allison, for outsideleft.com
originally published: August, 2006
I'm trying to talk to Justin over here...
Hey Justin Timberlake,
 
So I've been listening to your new album, FutureSex/LoveSounds.  Sure doesn't sound like I fucking thought it would!
 
I'm saying that's kind of lame, because your first solo album, Justified, was a masterwork of timeless r&b.  Motherfucker, you could make twenty albums in a row that all sound like Justified and I wouldn't care.  Who's concerned with artistic growth?  Not me, pal, do another "Rock Your Body"!  I want you to cry me another goddamn river!
 
Sure sucks when an artist feels they have to grow and progress.  Stevie Wonder could've kept making Songs in the Key of Life clones for decades, and the world would be richer for it.  But no!  He blindsides us with a concept album about plants and vomits out the soundtrack to The Lady in Red.  You broke my heart, Steve!
 
Likewise, Kylie Minogue scored a fucking homerun with 2002's shimmering pop masterpiece Fever.  Then she goes and fucks up her momentum with Body Language, a more experimental electronic record.  Gah!  Where's the fun, woman?  Darker and deeper doesn't define career evolution, you know.  You lost me there, Kylie!  Hold up, yo, stop defending yourself, I'm trying to talk to Justin over here...
 
Okay, JT, so your new joint has some good traits, I'll admit.  It's an exercise in rhythm, one big throbbing glob of drum machines and synthesizers.  I wasn't too keen on the lead single, "SexyBack," till I heard the chorus.  Sweet refrain, J!  But what's with this new grownup voice you're trying to use?  Dropping your register and trying to sound more like a man?  Fuck that noise!  I'd rather hear your little falsetto for 45 minutes straight.  That's some platinum, kid, exploit it and ride it to heaven.
 
Oh, and hey man, what's up with the extended track format?  A bunch of the CD tracks are coupled with little interludes and preludes.  Um, what, huh?  Don't reinvent the album, jack!  What happens if I want to skip to the interlude because your track is flat like wet Apple Jacks?  For crying out loud!  You're turning my listening experience into a fucking chore.
 
See, I just want you to sing me some bouncy Michael Jackson-alike songs again, like you did on Justified.  I want you to shake your ass in the video, word, show me some snazzy moves and let your single fade the fuck out.  Stop trying to "mature and grow with your audience," b-boy!  You're just leaving them behind!  You might get a brand-new audience, sure, but they'll be a bunch of buffoons who'll believe anything they read on AllMusic.com.  Blah!
 
So that's why I'm using this tried & true "open letter to Justin Timberlake" format (it's been done, obviously).  But check it, I'm just trying to get through to you, son, this is important!  Can you make another happy little dance record for me, please?  Can you handle that anymore?
 
If not, I'm going to have to wait and see what the REAL Michael Jackson does next, and that future isn't bright.  Sad state of affairs, my man.  Enjoy life with your new fans, Justin, we'll miss you!
 
Love, Andy
see more stories from outsideleft's Music archive »»

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Happy Shopper #37: Garazi
Fabulous fashion photographer Garazi puts down her lens for long enough to show us how to shop!
The Fangs, The Fur, and the Justification of Consumer Electronics
Did Cougar's transcendent guitar rock really justify this new iPod? Only me and my personal trainer know for sure.
Cool Movies You've Never Seen
Seth Sherwood finds a diamond in the rough.
Friday Film Forecast for September 1, 2005
In The Presence of Greatness Now
Gone gone gone one more Norman's gone
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag
Some of our favorite things...