Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling” Is Why I Hate Justin Timberlake

Justin_Timberlake_Cant_Stop_The_FeelingIt’s hard out here in these R&B streets. And Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling” taking the #1 spot on Billboard has me feeling some kinda way.

I try my best not to be a hater, even though I have levied my fair share of criticism toward almost any “blue eyed soul”. But to be frank, this isn’t really even about the artists. I’ve got nothing personally against Justin Timberlake. I grew up in the heart of the N*Sync craze, and I am pretty sure there is an embarrassingly incriminating video of me out in the world somewhere that can attest to that.

“Can’t Stop The Feeling”, from the soundtrack for the forthcoming Trolls animated film, is catchy enough. It’s got that paper-thin depth and entry-level pop production appeal going for it. And Timberlake performs just as you’d expect him to, unspectacularly and with heavy doses of falsetto, because the song doesn’t warrant any more or any less. And that’s it. That’s the problem.

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When Justin Timberlake went solo and demanded to be taken seriously as an artist, he was about more than this. He was about pushing the limits of musical genres and taking the music video to a new level. But after years in the industry, crafting a style and sound that appeals to the lowest common denominator, the Justin Timberlake I once knew from the Justified era is gone. Instead, he’s gone a full 360 degrees, returning the to the uninspired pop music of his roots.

In this feeble attempt to recreate Pharrell’s Happy, Timberlake ends up looking like a goofy, corny dad who just discovered that Kid’s Bop remakes pop music.

Moreover, he is rewarded for this betrayal, with checks and throngs of fans just waiting to faint at the slightest of his efforts. This is what happens when you have nothing left to prove. There is no achievement he needs to reach. There is no impetus to drive him toward greatness. I’m sure the only thing he cares about at this stage in his life is continuing to provide a life of abundance for his family and having the greatest amount of fun while doing it.

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For that reason, I ain’t mad at him. But I am mad at all of his so-called fans that find this mess acceptable. Until y’all require more from him, all he is going to be is a 35 year old husband and father, dressed in all white, and singing into bananas in a grocery store.

Watch the video for “Can’t Stop The Feeling” below:

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Daren W. Jackson

Daren is one half of the Water Cooler Convos team. He's a writer, music connoisseur, and comic book geek who spends his free time working on his novel and other short stories.

2 Responses

  1. Shawna says:

    I love, love, love JT. But, I don’t like this song and won’t spend my money on it. I prefer the soulful singing Justin. So, I’m passing on this though I am still huge fan. I just hope it’s not, as you predict, the ‘best’ his future work will be. I suppose it’s good enough for s kiddie movie, but is not the J.T. I know.

    Last I heard him in an awesome soul and blues-infused duet with country music phenom, Chris Stapleton, on an award show I thought it couldn’t get better or worse for J.T. I’m praying he goes back to delivering what I’m accustomed to and soon! Cause that performance was awesome!

  2. D Jackson says:

    Agreed. I read somewhere that he put this together while concurrently working on his next album, so I’m not feeling much faith for his next work.