Dance, Dance, Dance: The Best of Justin Timberlake

A charmer, also a dick. Critics love the idea of Justin Timberlake: white boy leaves best-selling boy band, “matures,” gets better haircuts, etc. I bet he even smells good! The boy band’s singles were solid to excellent, though, and for a while I didn’t hear a difference between end times N Sync jams like “Girlfriend” and “Gone” and the first couple Justifiedsingles. I can’t deny he’s recorded more than a dozen bangers, and now that pot smoking has sanded down his unbearable falsetto he’s become a decent ballad singer — I have a fondness for his Inside Lleweyn Davis number. His singles have a way of sneaking up on me too. Corporate retreats and elementary school talent shows have shown the sinister nature of “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” but its rictus grin of joy got hypnotic with each play. I haven’t quite forgotten the deviousness with which he slinked away from Janet Jackson after 2004’s so-called wardrobe malfunction during the Superbowl, nor the general ignorance of a promotional circle that didn’t understand why naming a pussyhound anthem “Take Back the Night” was a dreadful mistake.

We’ll be dealing with this guy for the rest of our lives.

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