Justin Timberlake started out with the band ‘NSync, but in 2002, released his first solo album, Justified. Since then, he has won 6 Grammys and has firmly established himself as a pop icon. Here is a list of ten of his best songs:
This was the dance hit from FutureSex/LoveSounds. With its provocative lyrics and seductive electronic beats, it’s one of the best songs on a terrific album. It isn’t high on substance (basically the theme is his inherent sexiness and how he’s willing to become the love slave of a girl he’s met on the dance floor). Still, it is a lot of fun.
2. My Love
“My Love” is a sweet ballad featuring T.I. Justin Timberlake sings about a man who is in love with a woman and wants to get serious with her. He pours out his heart to her and even offers her a wedding ring. This song also appears on FutureSex/LoveSounds.
3. Sexy Ladies/Let Me Talk To You Prelude
Following the lines of “Sexyback” this track is basically about Justin’s sex appeal. While it is definitely a “player” song, it has a good rhythm and is fun to dance to.
4. Like I Love You
This was the first solo song Justin Timberlake released after leaving ‘NSync. It is on the Justified album. An acoustic guitar leads into drumbeats in this romantic pop ballad about a guy who promises that no other man will love his girlfriend more than he does.
5. Cry Me A River
One of the reasons that “Cry Me A River” was so popular was the video. It featured a Britney Spears look-a-like, which sparked a lot of gossip about the reasons for their breakup. The song, in and of itself, is a great ballad about the tragic end of a relationship in which the ex-girlfriend has destroyed all trust by cheating with a friend of the song’s hero. It is one of Justin’s best ballads aside from “Gone”. This song is an example of the dynamic collaboration between Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. “Cry Me A River” appears on Justified.
6. (And She Said) Take Me Now
This is another song from Justified that got more press because of a television performance than the song itself. It is the infamous collaboration song featuring Janet Jackson which was performed during the Super Bowl. Justin Timberlake is at a club and sees a girl who is very into him and he knows that “something’s going down”. They dance all night and she says “take me now.”
The Neptunes produced this track about Justin meeting a beautiful Latina as he is walking down the street on a beautiful sunny day. He is taken with her and wants to start a relationship, but she has a boyfriend. Justin tells her that her boyfriend is too charming and doesn’t really love her and that she deserves much better. The song is cute and sweet and not as overtly sexual as many of Timberlake’s other songs. At the end of the song, Justin digresses from the main song and does a call and response sing along. Justin asks the men to sing: “It feels like something’s heating up, can I leave with you?” Then he has the women respond: “I don’t know, but I’m thinking ’bout really leaving with you.” “Señorita” appears on Justified.
8. LoveStoned/I Think She Knows Interlude
A pop dance hit with underlying drumbeats, “LoveStoned” is the opposite of “Sexyback” and “Sexy Ladies”. It is about a sexy woman who has Justin entranced. He sees “flashing lights [that] come from everywhere” that hit her frame and cause him to “stop and stare”. He experiences love at first sight and is “stoned” in her presence. The song has a sweet bridge that changes the tempo of the song. In it, Justin reflects on the woman and realizes that she knows he’s fascinated by her. This “interlude” is arguably the best part of the song. “LoveStoned/I Think She Knows Interlude” appears on FutureSex/LoveSounds.
9. Summer Love/Set The Mood Prelude
Another upbeat tune from FutureSex/LoveSounds, this song is definitely a summer hit. Justin Timberlake is driving with the top down in his convertible and spies a beautiful woman he wants to take out. He talks about how he wants to get to know her and show her around town. He says, “I can’t wait to fall in love with you. You can’t wait to fall in love with me. This just can’t be summer love, you see.” Justin feels he’s really made a connection with her and doesn’t want the relationship to only be a summer fling. “Set the Mood Prelude” is a departure from the main song. It’s basically a transition between “Summer Love” and “My Love” and slows down the tempo as Justin’s mood changes from the fun of summer to the more intense, smooth mood of “My Love”.
10. (Oh No) What You Got
“(Oh No) What You Got” has an interesting rhythm created with flutes mixed with drums. It has an island flavor. The tone is highly sexual and flirtatious. Justin Timberlake encourages a woman he sees eying him to come “get next to [him] when nobody is watching”.
Though he hasn’t released an album since 2006, Justin Timberlake has made incredible music on two albums, Justified and FutureSex/LoveSounds. In addition, he has done over twenty collaborations with other artists, appearing on the albums of friends like Timbaland, Madonna, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, T.I., Duran Duran, and Black Eyed Peas.