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Album Review : Justin Timberlake, Everything I Thought It Was

Justin Timberlake, a renowned figure in the Pop music industry, aims to rejuvenate his career following the mixed reception of his 2018 album, "Man of The Woods." His latest album, "Everything I Thought It Was," features the single "Selfish," which Timberlake co-writes and produces. A mid-tempo ballad, the song explores the intense feelings and possessiveness one experiences when deeply in love. It also delves into Timberlake's desire to keep his partner exclusively for himself, highlighting his jealousy and his immense attraction towards her.

Upon initial evaluation, the song did not capture my attention, and the accompanying video did not elevate the experience. I found the song exceedingly safe and unremarkable, particularly given Timberlake's remarkable talent. In all honesty, the single resembled something that a winner of a singing competition might produce.

Thankfully, the second and third singles are a welcome return to form. "Drown" is an infectious track that hearkens to Justin's earlier work. Its themes of betrayal, heartache, and the struggle to deal with a toxic relationship are deeply felt. On the other hand, "Sanctified," which features Tobe Nwigwe, is a celebration of Justin's Memphis roots. It explores themes of redemption, forgiveness, and spiritual transformation.

"Play," "Infinity Sex," and "F**** Up The Disco" are characterized by solid instrumentation and had me tapping my feet. The tracks "What Lovers Do," "Technicolor," and the album's closer, "Conditions," are all exemplary of R&B bliss, and "Alone" stands out with its haunting instrumentation and moody lyrics. The *NSYNC reunion song, "Paradise," is not surprising in its sound, and hopefully, it is a sign of things to come.

Regrettably, "Everything I Thought It Was" suffers from a lack of brevity and becomes repetitive, particularly in the middle section. Love & War resembles Maroon 5's style, while "My Favorite Drug" and "Imagination" come across as filler pop tracks. "Liar" and "Flame" are mediocre attempts at producing Afro beats.

Twenty-one years into his solo career, Justin has nothing left to prove and I do look forward to hearing some of the songs on live this summer. His sixth album is a return to form, but had he cut some of the weaker songs on the project and given us a solid ten to twelve bangers, he would have a much more cohesive effort.

Final Grade: B-

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