The Five Greatest Justin Timberlake Songs Ever
“Cry Me A River”, Justin Timberlake. (2002)
Was this song about Britney Spears? We never officially found out, but that doesn’t make Timberlake’s second single from Justified any less vicious: over a haunting Timbaland production, Justin makes some interesting accusations: “You don’t have to say what you did / I already know, I found out from him.” In the video, Timberlake haunts a Spears look-alike and gets dirty with a girl on camera just for her pleasure. Awkward!
“SexyBack”, Justin Timberlake. (2006)
It’s quite difficult to describe what makes “SexyBack” such an incredible track; whether it’s Timberlake’s warped creep vocals, Timbaland’s thumping euro-pop, or the filthy come-ons that fill the four minutes of guilty pleasure (“You see these shackles? Baby, I’m your slave / I’ll let you whip me if I misbehave”), but it’s relentlessy and unapolgetically carnal, while still managing to be PG. Well, as PG as whips and shackles can be.
“Like I Love You”, Justin Timberlake Featuring The Clipse. (2002)
It’s arguable that Justin works best with his main man Timbaland by his side, but his first outing,Justified, was laced with tracks from The Neptunes- including his very first single, the funky swagfest “Like I Love You”, where Justin and a few cohorts known by The Clipse woo girls the best way they know how: bouncing beats, sick dance moves and crisp, witty lyricism.
“LoveStoned/I Think She Knows”, Justin Timberlake. (2007)
Part of “LoveStoned” is nothing special- the larger portion of it massively succeeds at just being an incredible dance track, where Justin is suprisingly captivated by a mischevious young thing (“She’s freaky / but I like it”) But just before the pair head home to get it on, the track goes from the dance floor to the sky in a beat that suddenly begins a beautiful ascent into in space. John Mayer rightfully called “I Think She Knows” Justin’s “breakthrough moment as an artist”.
“Let Me Talk To You/My Love”, Justin Timberlake Feautring Timbaland and T.I. (2006)
“Let Me Talk To You/My Love” is undoubtedly my favorite music video of all time, for more reasons than I could possibly explain in just a few short lines. But “My Love” sets itself from standard Timberlake/Timbaland fare; Justin begs to be yours with a pair verses that lie entirely in his high falsetto, while Timbaland makes do with a stuttering synthesizer and whatever beatbox noises happen to come out of his mouth. When T.I. lends his skills to the mix, the result is one of the most intriguing and addictive ballads… ever.
BONUS: “FutureSex/LoveSound”, Justin Timberlake. (2006)
Another Timberlake gem that never received the single treatment, the title track to 2006′sFutureSex/LoveSound is as nasty as Justin can possibly get, channeling a Prince-esque vocal over quite the churning mash of snyth, drums, and commands (“Just tell me which way you like that.”) Yowza!