Friday, March 15, 2024

Album Review: 'Everything I Thought It Was' by Justin Timberlake


   *Disclaimer: B.B. is FULLY aware that Justin Timberlake has or will have gotten a lot of media attention for this album from the many publications and "TV" appearances as well as the pop up shows (including the most recent *NSYNC reunion at The Withern in Los Angeles). However, many songs from his previous album 'Man of the Woods' were reviewed here in 2018. 

    No matter how you slice it or dice it, the goal of popular or "pop" music is to draw the masses in as evident from the MANY artists over the years. Whether you fell in love with Justin Timberlake as a member of the Mickey Mouse Club, *NSYNC, or all of his solo efforts over the years, it's hard not to respect his career. Justin has proven to be a performer from his controversial Super Bowl Halftime shows, Saturday Night Live appearances (either as a host or musical guest), tours, talk show appearances and the like.  

    Depending on the era of music, every fan has a favorite solo album or a ranking of Justin's albums. Yet, there was a collective agreement from the reviews, sells, and streams of  2018's 'Man of the Woods', that it just did NOT connect with the masses as Justin intended.  So after all of these years later, how will 'Everything I Thought It Was' land?  

1. "Memphis": The obvious nod to his birth town as an introduction on the album. You can't help but wonder what the following songs will entail.

2. "F**kin' Up the Disco": Justin immediately bringing that "sexy back" (pun intended) to being the upbeat vibes of the album that references the funky, groovy, and catchy music Justin is known for throughout his career.

3. "No Angels": Another dark and twisted groovy track with a QUITE dark music video to get the point across. It could be edgy for the current climate. You should be the judge. 

4. "Play": A delightful little song that some music afficionados could have called an interlude back in the day. 

5. "Technicolor": Another delightful song that was led by "Play". 

6. "Drown": One of the early released singles with that catchy vibe keeping you intrigued as you continue to the album. 

7. "Liar" Featuring Fireboy DML: A collaboration that Justin is known for, you know introducing you  to someone you may have not found otherwise.

8. "Infinity Sex": Catchy, mature, and well part not afraid to talk about a topic people have a hard time exploring.  It fits in with the dark nature of "No Angels" to bring it full circle within the album.

9. "Love & War": A song with with topics in which still affect the world. 

10. "Sanctified" Featuring Tobe Nwigwe: Another early released single or performed song leading up to the release of the full album. Justin still brings forth his love for Gospel and that power that has within music. 

11. "My Favorite Drug": A personal favorite as this song gets you dancing as it has elements of disco and electronic dance music.  Well played Justin.

12. "Flame": A musically inclined song with surprises throughout, from the lyrics, vocals, instrumentation, beat changes, and key changes. It's the musical masterpiece of the album. Meaning Justin and his producers really went for it with this song. 

13: "Imagination": The catchy and groovy songs just keep on hitting. 

14. "What Lovers Do": Justin heavily leaning into his maturity as well as what he must his assume his key demographic for this album are expecting. Who knows? 

15. "Selfish": The first released single of the album for easy listening.

16. "Alone": The strings throughout of this song scream that Justin watched the popular Shonda Rhimes "Bridgerton" universe on Netflix for the scores used within those cinematic adventures. Classical music still has importance within a song for emoting the themes suggested by the lyrics. 

17. "Paradise" Featuring *NSYNC: Well, after the "Trolls" song and EPIC response of all fans of this popular boyband for a reunion, it is safe to say the release of this song on Justin's album cements a full reunion is imminent. Let's rejoice as it is VERY long time coming considering pretty much every other boyband has had a reunion by 2024.

18. "Conditions": The lyrics suggest that this may have a subliminal message to end the album. Who knows? Music is very subjective and up for every listener's interpretation.  

    Overall, this album is much more in alignment with Justin's previous popular album releases. Many songs should be fun to hear live on his upcoming tour or for years to come. Check it out! 

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