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Justin Timberlake - Justified

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Justified

Justin Timberlake

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Growing up is hard to do, as any teen pop idol will attest. Still, showbiz kids are nothing if not savvy, so they know it's better to make the jump than to idle as an idol, no matter how hard that jump may be -- and no matter how hard they try, it's hard to judge the distance, and they may miss their mark. With his debut solo album, Justified (face it, that title was a given), Justin Timberlake misses his mark slightly; he hits much closer than fellow Mickey Mouse Club alum Christina Aguilera did with her Stripped, but he's uneasy as a suave, mature loverman, particularly because much of his stance is borrowed directly (and rather improbably) from Michael Jackson. JT -- a shorthand nickname that's distressingly inevitable -- shamelessly borrows from Jacko, from the Thriller-era getup and poses to the sharply modernized spin on the classic Off the Wall sound. To be sure, the sound of the Neptunes productions which dominate Justified is the best thing about the album; they have a lush, sexy, stylish feel that is better, more romantic than most modern R&B. Too bad they're delivered by such a cipher. Though he's turned into a technically skilled vocalist, he's still too much of a showbiz kid -- all technique and surface, not much substance. His falsetto may be smooth, but it's utterly without character, which unfortunately describes the songs too: pretty on the surface, but devoid of memorable hooks. This means that what truly stands out is when he breaks from form and tries to prove how street and hip he is, delivering awful double-entendres like "I can think of a couple of positions for you" and "get real wet if you know what I mean" and exhorting the fellas and ladies to sing separately in a cringe-worthy affectation on "Senorita." When he sings that he'll "have you nekkid by the end of the song," he doesn't sound like a seductor, he sounds like a kid actor awkwardly assuming a new persona. This isn't without merit -- the sound, apart from some flop Timbaland productions (which he redeems with the slinky funk of "Right for Me"), works well, and if these cuts were songs instead of tracks, his bland falsetto would be fine. This sure isn't the musical immolation of Christina's ugly Stripped. Unlike that album, this suggests a direction Timberlake could follow in the future, given stronger songwriting collaborators. But Justified is just sound and posturing, with no core. [Bad packaging alert: the foldout booklet for Justified is merely stuck into the digipak for the album, with no sleeve or slot to house it; it's guaranteed to get beat up or lost.]
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Justified

Justin Timberlake

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1
Señorita
00:04:54

Justin Timberlake, Performer - Justin Timberlake, Composer - Justin Timberlake, Lyricist - Justin Timberlake, Vocal Arranger - Andrew Coleman, Recording Engineer - John Hanes, Engineer - Serban Ghenea, Mixing Engineer - Chad Hugo, Composer - Chad Hugo, Lyricist - Chad Hugo, Producer - Chad Hugo, Performer - Lainie Aguilar, Background Vocal - Pharrell Williams, Composer - Pharrell Williams, Lyricist - Pharrell Williams, Producer - Pharrell Williams, Performer - Pharrell Williams, Vocal - Pharrell Williams, Vocal Arranger

(P) 2002 Zomba Recording LLC

2
Like I Love You Album Version
00:04:43

Justin Timberlake, Performer - Justin Timberlake, Composer - Justin Timberlake, Lyricist - Clipse, Rap Performed By - Andrew Coleman, Recording Engineer - John Hanes, Engineer - Serban Ghenea, Mixing Engineer - Chad Hugo, Composer - Chad Hugo, Lyricist - Chad Hugo, Performer - Pharrell Williams, Composer - Pharrell Williams, Lyricist - Pharrell Williams, Performer - The Neptunes, Producer

(P) 2002 Zomba Recording LLC

3
(Oh No) What You Got
00:04:31

Justin Timberlake, Performer - Justin Timberlake, Composer - Justin Timberlake, Lyricist - Justin Timberlake, Vocal Arranger - Steve Penny, Recording Engineer - Timbaland, Producer - Timbaland, Mixing Engineer - Timbaland, Vocal - Timothy Z. Mosley, Composer - Timothy Z. Mosley, Lyricist - Jimmy Douglass, Mixing Engineer

(P) 2002 Zomba Recording LLC

4
Take It From Here
00:06:14

Serban Ghenea, Mixing Engineer - Benjamin Wright Jr., Arranger - Benjamin Wright Jr., Conductor - Justin Timberlake, Performer - Justin Timberlake, Composer - Justin Timberlake, Lyricist - Justin Timberlake, Vocal Arranger - Pharrell Williams, Producer - Pharrell Williams, Performer - Pharrell Williams, Vocal Arranger - Charles Veal & The Southwest Chamber Orchestra, Strings - Andrew Coleman, Recording Engineer - John Hanes, Engineer - P. Williams, Composer - P. Williams, Lyricist - Chad Hugo, Composer - Chad Hugo, Lyricist - Chad Hugo, Producer - Chad Hugo, Performer

(P) 2002 Zomba Recording LLC

5
Cry Me a River
00:04:48

Tyrone Tribbett, Background Vocal - Marsha Ambrosius, Background Vocal - Justin Timberlake, Performer - Justin Timberlake, Composer - Justin Timberlake, Lyricist - Justin Timberlake, Background Vocal - Justin Timberlake, Vocal Arranger - Timothy Z. Mosley, Composer - Timothy Z. Mosley, Lyricist - Jimmy Douglass, Mixing Engineer - Timbaland, Producer - Timbaland, Mixing Engineer - Timbaland, Background Vocal - Greater Anointing, Background Vocal - Larry Gold, Conductor - Larry Gold, Arranger - Senator Jimmy D, Recording Engineer - Bill Pettaway, Guitar - Scott Storch, Keyboards - Scott Storch, Composer - Scott Storch, Lyricist

(P) 2002 Zomba Recording LLC

6
Rock Your Body Album Version
00:04:27

Serban Ghenea, Mixing Engineer - Justin Timberlake, Performer - Justin Timberlake, Composer - Justin Timberlake, Lyricist - Justin Timberlake, Arranger - Daniel Betancourt, 2nd Engineer - Pharrell Williams, Producer - Pharrell Williams, Arranger - Pharrell Williams, Composer - Pharrell Williams, Lyricist - Pharrell Williams, Performer - Vanessa Marquez, Vocal - Eddie DeLena, Recording Engineer - Andrew Coleman, Recording Engineer - John Hanes, Engineer - Tim Roberts, 2nd Engineer - Chad Hugo, Composer - Chad Hugo, Lyricist - Chad Hugo, Producer - Chad Hugo, Performer - Herbie Powers Jr., Mastering Engineer

(P) 2002 Zomba Recording LLC

7
Nothin' Else
00:04:58

Justin Timberlake, Performer - Justin Timberlake, Composer - Justin Timberlake, Lyricist - Justin Timberlake, Vocal Arranger - Andrew Coleman, Recording Engineer - John Hanes, Engineer - Serban Ghenea, Mixing Engineer - Chad Hugo, Composer - Chad Hugo, Lyricist - Chad Hugo, Producer - Chad Hugo, Performer - Pharrell Williams, Composer - Pharrell Williams, Lyricist - Pharrell Williams, Producer - Pharrell Williams, Performer - Pharrell Williams, Vocal Arranger

(P) 2002 Zomba Recording LLC

8
Last Night
00:04:47

Justin Timberlake, Performer - Justin Timberlake, Composer - Justin Timberlake, Lyricist - Justin Timberlake, Vocal Arranger - Andrew Coleman, Recording Engineer - John Hanes, Engineer - Serban Ghenea, Mixing Engineer - Chad Hugo, Composer - Chad Hugo, Lyricist - Chad Hugo, Producer - Chad Hugo, Performer - Benjamin Wright Jr., Arranger - Benjamin Wright Jr., Conductor - Charles Veal & The Southwest Chamber Orchestra, Strings - Pharrell Williams, Composer - Pharrell Williams, Lyricist - Pharrell Williams, Producer - Pharrell Williams, Performer - Pharrell Williams, Vocal Arranger

(P) 2002 Zomba Recording LLC

9
Still On My Brain
00:04:35

Justin Timberlake, Performer - Justin Timberlake, Lyricist - Justin Timberlake, Vocal Arranger - Dave Russell, Recording Engineer - Dave Russell, Mixing Engineer - Dabling Harward, Recording Engineer - Harvey Mason, Jr., Composer - The Underdogs, Producer - Nathan East, Bass - Damon Thomas, Composer

(P) 2002 Zomba Recording LLC

10
(And She Said) Take Me Now
00:05:31

Justin Timberlake, Performer - Justin Timberlake, Composer - Justin Timberlake, Lyricist - Justin Timberlake, Background Vocal - Justin Timberlake, Vocal Arranger - Senator Jimmy D, Recording Engineer - Larry Gold, Arranger - Larry Gold, Conductor - Timbaland, Producer - Timbaland, Mixing Engineer - Timbaland, Background Vocal - Timothy Z. Mosley, Composer - Timothy Z. Mosley, Lyricist - Jimmy Douglass, Mixing Engineer - Janet Jackson, Vocal - Scott Storch, Composer - Scott Storch, Lyricist - Scott Storch, Co-Producer - Scott Storch, Keyboards

(P) 2002 Zomba Recording LLC

11
Right For Me
00:04:29

Damon Bennett, Flute - Bubba Sparxxx, Rap Performed By - George McCurdy, Drums - Justin Timberlake, Performer - Justin Timberlake, Composer - Justin Timberlake, Lyricist - Justin Timberlake, Vocal Arranger - Omar Edwards, Keyboards - Timothy Z. Mosley, Composer - Timothy Z. Mosley, Lyricist - Jimmy Douglass, Mixing Engineer - Ben Kenny, Guitar - Timbaland, Producer - Timbaland, Mixing Engineer - Timbaland, Vocal - Larry Gold, Arranger - Larry Gold, Conductor - Thaddeus Tribbett, Bass - Senator Jimmy D, Recording Engineer - Vidal Davis, Percussion - Frank Walker, Percussion

(P) 2002 Zomba Recording LLC

12
Let's Take A Ride
00:04:44

Justin Timberlake, Performer - Justin Timberlake, Composer - Justin Timberlake, Lyricist - Justin Timberlake, Vocal Arranger - Andrew Coleman, Recording Engineer - John Hanes, Engineer - Serban Ghenea, Mixing Engineer - Chad Hugo, Composer - Chad Hugo, Lyricist - Chad Hugo, Producer - Chad Hugo, Performer - Pharrell Williams, Composer - Pharrell Williams, Lyricist - Pharrell Williams, Producer - Pharrell Williams, Performer - Pharrell Williams, Vocal Arranger

(P) 2002 Zomba Recording LLC

13
Never Again
00:04:34

Justin Timberlake, Performer - Justin Timberlake, Composer - Justin Timberlake, Lyricist - Justin Timberlake, Vocal Arranger - Brian McKnight, Composer - Brian McKnight, Lyricist - Brian McKnight, Producer - Brian McKnight, Performer - Brian McKnight, Vocal Arranger - Dave Pensado, Mixing Engineer - Bill Meyers, Arranger - Bill Meyers, Conductor - Prescott Ellison, Drums - Chris Wood, Recording Engineer - Jimmy Randolph, Engineer - Tommy Vicari, Recording Engineer

(P) 2002 Zomba Recording LLC

Album Description

Growing up is hard to do, as any teen pop idol will attest. Still, showbiz kids are nothing if not savvy, so they know it's better to make the jump than to idle as an idol, no matter how hard that jump may be -- and no matter how hard they try, it's hard to judge the distance, and they may miss their mark. With his debut solo album, Justified (face it, that title was a given), Justin Timberlake misses his mark slightly; he hits much closer than fellow Mickey Mouse Club alum Christina Aguilera did with her Stripped, but he's uneasy as a suave, mature loverman, particularly because much of his stance is borrowed directly (and rather improbably) from Michael Jackson. JT -- a shorthand nickname that's distressingly inevitable -- shamelessly borrows from Jacko, from the Thriller-era getup and poses to the sharply modernized spin on the classic Off the Wall sound. To be sure, the sound of the Neptunes productions which dominate Justified is the best thing about the album; they have a lush, sexy, stylish feel that is better, more romantic than most modern R&B. Too bad they're delivered by such a cipher. Though he's turned into a technically skilled vocalist, he's still too much of a showbiz kid -- all technique and surface, not much substance. His falsetto may be smooth, but it's utterly without character, which unfortunately describes the songs too: pretty on the surface, but devoid of memorable hooks. This means that what truly stands out is when he breaks from form and tries to prove how street and hip he is, delivering awful double-entendres like "I can think of a couple of positions for you" and "get real wet if you know what I mean" and exhorting the fellas and ladies to sing separately in a cringe-worthy affectation on "Senorita." When he sings that he'll "have you nekkid by the end of the song," he doesn't sound like a seductor, he sounds like a kid actor awkwardly assuming a new persona. This isn't without merit -- the sound, apart from some flop Timbaland productions (which he redeems with the slinky funk of "Right for Me"), works well, and if these cuts were songs instead of tracks, his bland falsetto would be fine. This sure isn't the musical immolation of Christina's ugly Stripped. Unlike that album, this suggests a direction Timberlake could follow in the future, given stronger songwriting collaborators. But Justified is just sound and posturing, with no core. [Bad packaging alert: the foldout booklet for Justified is merely stuck into the digipak for the album, with no sleeve or slot to house it; it's guaranteed to get beat up or lost.]
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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