FutureSex/LoveSounds is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake, released by Jive Records on September 12, 2006. After a two-year hiatus during when Timberlake felt unable to record new songs, he returned to collaborating with record producer Timbaland. Along with the latter's protégé, Danja, the three mainly wrote FutureSex/LoveSounds and much of the album's contents were produced in Timbaland's Thomas Crown Studios.
Although it shares lyrical themes with Timberlake's debut album, Justified, FutureSex/LoveSounds is much more diverse in its music. It infuses R&B and pop with techno, funk, and elements of rock, the last being the genre that was the main inspiration of Timberlake during the album's recording. The reprises and interludes interspersed on the album's tracklist were an attempt by the production team at channeling Timberlake's influences which include David Bowie and Prince.
FutureSex/LoveSounds was released to generally positive reviews, in which most critics noted the influences in the album and its collection of eclectic sounds. The album produced six singles that attained chart success, including US number-one hits "SexyBack", "My Love", and "What Goes Around... Comes Around". Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album at number 46 on its list of the best albums of the 2000s, and aside from earning numerous best-of lists, the album received several Grammy Award nominations, including Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album. It has been certified multi-platinum in many countries worldwide, and has sold over ten million copies, with four million in the United States alone.
The title of Justin's latest, rather reminiscent of Ms Stefani's latest album title, promises much. The sounds of sex and love in the future. Hmm, it must sound pretty amazing.
But first, comment must be passed on this album cover! Is Justin in his Michael Jackson Bad throwback suit smashing up a mirror ball supposed to be smashing up the past and bringing in the future? Let's hope so.
Initially, it's difficult to listen to the lyrics of the opening tracks and give an objective opinion. It's like trying to find redeemable qualities about some guy who has zero social skills and stares at women on his own from the corner of a bar. Only he seems to have found some similarly unreconstructed creepy friends shouting words of encouragement to his clunky chat-up lines, like Timbaland.
By way of example, Prince wannabe track "Sexy Ladies" contains the proud lyrics: 'Just to let you know that I've got sexy laydehs ...all over the floor'.
But it's not all bad! "Lovestoned" is a great track, with chopping violins, beatboxing, and bongos. "I Think She Knows", the interlude which follows, is quite beautiful, shimmering, and brilliantly constructed.
"What Goes Around" has a very slight Bollywood flavour, and whilst Justin will never be a profound lyricist, he does do a nice line in falsetto harmonies underlined with flowing violins. "Losing my Way" is about Bob, a crack addict who doesn't know the colour of his daughter's eyes. It's a surprising departure with gospel choir kicking in halfway. I can't decide whether this is brilliant or cheese on toast.
It's difficult to listen to the whole album in one go,sometimes like witnessing the stag night of some young blokes with too much money and very little charm.And the porn photographer bonus track "Pose" could have been executed with humour, but Justin's vanilla character just makes it incredibly icky. Sure, he's frequently funky, but rarely functional. Is this the future of sex and love? If so, it's brutal, defensive, and only sometimes worth negotiating. User Comments