Justin Timberlake's latest CD debuted this past week, complete with a bad-ass "Parental Advisory" warning. The former NSync member strived to make a CD where every song could be the next single, collaborating with some of the best talent the music biz has to offer, including Timbaland and Jay-Z. Timberlake's previous album Justified was an all-around acclaimed CD, so he had some high standards to live up to....which makes it no real surprise that he didn't meet them.
FutureSex/LoveSounds takes Timberlake in a new "mature" direction, with little semblance to his boyband days. Gone are many of the cheesy lyrics from his previous album, but also missing are the interesting soundtracks to his music, as heard in songs like Cry Me a River. This CD foregos such innovation for tired hip-hop beats to establish himself among an R&B audience in a market flooded with mediocrity. Few of the songs are stand-outs, the most interesting sounding of which are the already-released SexyBack and the title track, each of which exemplify the rest of the CD in that they rely heavily on the chorus, and are aggressively repetative with little depth to them. The one thing that Justin Timberlake does well on this album is showcase his vocal prowess. The songs are perfect vehicles to demonstrate his range and show off a real control of that gift. Unfortunately, he failed in his objective to make a stand-out CD and offered little more than a disappointing sophomore effort. C-
Key Tracks: FutureSex/LoveSound, SexyBack, My Love, Lovestoned, What Goes Around...