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Future Sex/Love Sounds

by Justin Timberlake

Released September 8, 2006 via Jive Records / Zomba

Reviewed September 8, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
What Goes Around… / …Comes Around (58%), SexyBack (54%), LoveStoned / I Think She Knows (33%)

For Justin Timberlake, his solo debut, Justified, was the act of leaving a pond that had grown too small for his stardom. Where he would go next filled the hearts and minds of fans and critics alike, markedly so after the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” during Super Bowl XXXVIII. But the release of his 2006 masterpiece, FutureSex/LoveSounds, was confirmation of the obvious truth: Timberlake had more than just one good solo album in his bag. From the amateurish—albeit fantastic—performance on Justified, sprouted the much more mature, concise, and incredibly groundbreaking display of FutureSex that would go on to define the 2000s. With more legendary production from Timbaland, as well as Danja, this album ebbs and flows naturally, without losing an ounce of focus towards the mission to further prove Justin wasn’t a pretty face, but a man on his own artistic mission. The danceability of these tracks haven’t lost a step a decade and a half later, and it doesn’t seem like they ever will. This album goes any and every place that Justin Timberlake wants it to go, via his effervescent presence as both a performer and songwriter. After growing up in the birthplace of rock and roll and witnessing the greatness of showmen like Prince and Michael Jackson, Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds became an opus that could undoubtedly be placed in the echelon of such greatness. – Ben (Synth) (10/10)

After a serviceable debut in Justified, Justin Timberlake returned to the studio to prove that he could deliver a full project of great material. His 2006 follow-up, FutureSex/LoveSounds, absolutely did this; mainly working with super producers Timbaland and Danja, Timberlake crafted a hip-hop-tinged album with influences from the East. Between the opulent strings and snappy drums, this album perfectly captures what the pop landscape was missing at the time of its release: Relentless ambition and a desire to try anything. Lyrically, Timberlake further expands on the same themes we saw on Justified, as an arrogant man with a soft side for the one who relentlessly commands his attention. He routinely discusses falling in love and wanting to marry women he just met, while still maintaining that he can have anyone his heart desires. LoveSounds cranks out 12 more danceable tracks, and even with slower songs like “My Love” and “Summer Love,” an infectiousness about them still induces one to bob their head to it. This album solidified Justin Timberlake’s fearlessness to experiment with sounds we had yet to hear. 15 years on from its release, FutureSex/LoveSounds still feels as fresh as it did on the day it dropped. This record goes to show that good music will always stand the test of time, while also cementing Timberlake as a bonafide artist. – Pablo (10/10)

After breaking onto the scene as a solo artist on Justified, Justin Timberlake created a more-than-worthy sequel in FutureSex/LoveSounds. It trims off a lot of the filler in comparison to his debut––and is far more ambitious––but still retains the immaculate vocals and charisma that was first introduced to America on “Like I Love You.” FutureSex/LoveSounds’ only setbacks come via the lyrical content, particularly in the latter half of the record. But with the production and the vocal performance, Timberlake could have been saying anything and the songs would sound incredible. Oftentimes, this album’s attempts at sounding futuristic seem cheapened by the contemporary, as a lesser form of the future. The production, however, still holds up magnificently. And despite incorporating a wide range of influences, it remains cohesive throughout. 15 years later, FutureSex/LoveSounds remains an essential pop album, and one of the best albums in the genre from this century. – Alan (9.2/10)

Ben (Synth): 10/10 | Cam: 10/10 | Pablo: 10/10 | Alan: 9.2/10 | DeVán: 8.5/10

Pax: 8/10 | Hadley: 7.5/10 | Jared: 7.5/10 | Dominick: 7.3/10


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