Album Track Listing
Release date: 26 November, 2002
Album review by: B.Malkani
Take It From Here
I'm Gon' Cry
7. Nothin' Else
Tonight I'm Gonna Let Go
Take Me Now, (And She Said) - (featuring Janet Jackson)
11. So Willingly
12. Let's Take A Ride
13. Never Again
Who would have thought that a kid from the boy band N'Sync would make it to an R&B/hip hop review page, but apparently, judging by all the press that this new kid on the block is receiving, Justin Timberlake is the hottest thing since Michael Jackson? Justin has been compared to MJ in many ways, for example the high pitched voice, the impressive dance routines, being the first to brake away from a group of five and not to mention working with well established producers on his solo album. Apart from the track 'Still on my brain' which shows some resemblance to the latter part of MJ's work, I on the other hand would not agree with these comparisons - He is definitely the not the next king of pop. Does anyone remember Jordan from New Kids on The Block? He had crazy dance routines and also broke away from a group of 5 - ain't nobody comparing him to MJ?
Anyway Today's topic is Justin. I had to hear what he was about as almost every R&B radio show as well as 'MTV's Lick' would mention him. What was all the fuss about? Well for one, Justin has producers such as 'everything that he touches, turns to gold' - The Neptunes and 'what funky sample is he going to use' Timbaland.
The album starts off quite nicely with a smooth track called "Señorita", which most definitely sets the mood for what it to come, as opposed to the Neptunes, produced single "Like I love you", which is perhaps the most upbeat track on the album. I had hoped that if the Neptunes had produced any other tracks, that they would follow suite, instead the rest of their production seems to be more 'pop meets hip hop' and aimed too much at a mainstream market.
Nevertheless, I'm feelin the 'Timberlake meets Timberland' connection, as all my favourite tracks are from this collaboration: the beats, the lyrics and styles are all bangin'. I could imagine "Oh No What You Got" hittin' the club and everyone requesting a rewind. Justin clearly displays his lyrical skills on "Cry Me a River", which happens to be the next single (and my sources tell me the song is aimed at the infamous relationship he had with Britney). Finally, Justin displays his funky vocal side on "Right For Me". His vocal style has clearly evolved from his N'Sync days and likewise the track is noticeable for cheeky lyrics such as " I could think of a couple of positions for you" which exhibits Justin has matured from his pop days. Also Brian McKnight produces the closing ballad, "Never Again". Justin seems like he is able to pour out his feelings once again. The McKnight presence is distinctive throughout the song.
What I enjoyed most about this album was that despite the pop appeal of N Sync, Justin was able to make R&B without letting his boy band background interfere (prehaps this is down to Timberland). Another factor I think is positive is unlike some new school artists, there are no cover songs on the album which meant that Justin could prove his lyrical capabilities. However I feel the album lacks a certain 'flava' and perhaps its because Justin has modelled himself on too many R&B artists; I see an Usher and Sisqo influence in addition to MJ. I also believe that this project probably would not have worked 5 years ago. So the question I'm leaving you with is, has Mr JT jumped on the popular hip-hop/R&B wagon that has suddenly blown up? Or is he going to be a serious R&B artist, in which you may have yourself a semi-classic IF you're into mainstream R&B.
Top 3 JT joints:
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