Dear Mr. Timberlake
That Justin Timberlake album I said I was all about listening to last week? Well, I tell you what, I actually started listening to it. What a bunch of crap.
(The theme for April’s daily blogging is “Letters” — I’m jumping in a little early but once I get seized with an idea I am helpless to keep it from bursting forth unfettered.)
Dear Mr. Timberlake;
You certainly have the affliction for some tired songwriting tropes. But lyrics written by and for fourteen-year-old girls usually err on the side of cliched, it’s true. What I really love about this song “Senorita” is how you work the whole pity angle. I bet it gets you so laid.
On that sunny day / Didn’t know I’d meet / Such a beautiful girl / Walking down the street
You know what else rhymes with “meet” and “street”? Cheat. Incomplete. Neat! Peat. Teat.
Seen those bright brown eyes / With tears coming down / She deserves a crown . . .
Seriously, a crown! Maybe it’s a cultural thing (warning: I’m about to be insensitive and white) (and old), but speaking as a disheveled, gray-haired guera, do girls still think that being plucked from the peasantry to land in some puffy-dress-wearing, cousin-humping royal family is a romantic solution to a shitty day at school?
I know, I’m being disingenuous. It’s totally cool if you want to prop up the princess industry, Justin. *sigh*
Senorita, I feel for you / You deal with things that you don’t have to / Your man doesn’t love you, not like I could / come on over my way, but because this song was written by a fourteen-year-old girl I won’t talk about my penis, even though it’s right there, I just want to hold you in my arr-arr-arr-arr-arms.
If this song didn’t have such an easy, seductive groove I’d have thrown my iPod out the window by now. And even though I’m old and hateful I eventually have to shut up when my six-year-old son is in the back seat trying to sing along and making up weird/adorable hip-hop moves with his hands.
Okay, this is the only other song I still listen to from Justified (the video is just a montage of images put together by a fan). The lyrics are just as impossible for me to take seriously coming from you, Justin, because I find it hard to believe you’re cruising Sepulveda with Pharrell and worrying about picking up your lady who just lost her soul-destroying, rent-paying job. Again, disbelief is temporarily suspended because, damn I just want to take a ride and get away-ay-ay with you, baby. God, pop music is treacherous.
The other day I was trying to lay out a serviceable Timberlake vs. Prince dichotomy for Jack based on the assumption that Prince is better for a lot of reasons, one of which is that he doesn’t take himself as seriously as JT.
Lo, how my husband chuckled at that notion! A truly hearty, gut-encompassing “OMFG you are fooling yourself” guffaw.
To support my argument that you, Justin Timberlake, are overserious about your image as well as completely deluded about who you could take in a bar fight, I would like to offer this last piece of evidence, the song “Good Foot” from the soundtrack of the stupid kids’ movie Shark Tale (again, it’s just a fan montage, there’s no official video for the song).
Hey JT? / Yeaaaaah… / Why these dudes keep starin’ at us? / I don’t know but I’ma bouta find out wassup… / Be easy, don’t take it too rough, talk to ‘em!
Honestly, I never get tired of this song, the mental image of big ol’ Timbaland telling wee skinny “JT” to “go easy” on some “dudes” — “Don’t be too rough, Justin, oh! Don’t jostle those rambunctious fellows too gruffly!” Timbaland spends the whole song holding back his boy from beating the hell out of a bunch of loudmouths with what, I don’t know, a tampon? The whole thing is so deleriously ridiculous that I ‘d put it on repeat if my whole commute to Jackson’s school wasn’t over before the song had played even once, and then of course I’m obliged to switch over to NPR for the ride home just in case I need to catch up on John McCain’s mother’s latest sneeze.
In conclusion, Justin, I’d just like to remind you of what Prince said in response to your assertion last summer that you were “bringing sexy back”:
“Sexy never left.“
I know, Prince is like 50 years old now, but he kicked the Superbowl’s ass last year in a driving rain, my friend, and all you did was show us Janet Jackson’s teat. Keep trying, though! You still have 20 years to pick a signature color, star in some terrible, self-indulgent movies, and earn a billion Grammies.
This post is totally dedicated to my homebiscuit, Anil Dash. Twits up, baby!