There we all were, watching our hearts burst and dissipate within a matter of hours. But hey, at least he’s going to contribute to the third Shock Value, right? And it should sound good-to-great based on the strength of those Missy Elliott and Timmy singles, right? I guess. But … sigh.
The thing is, it’s not even about the fact that it’s been six years and one month since JT dropped FS/LS and shook the realm of pop music, knocked it off its axis, and re-positioned the shit out of it. It’s the fact that the music he loves so much—that is R&B/soul-infused pop—is alive and well right now. Hell, it’s been prospering in different ways since 2006, but it’s at another level these days.
Just this year, Frank Ocean was able to turn his Internet fame into a best-selling album while Miguel dropped a solid, though flawed, sophomore effort miles ahead of his debut. And then there’s the Weeknd, who went from a critically adored enigma to a major label star in the making. It also doesn’t hurt that Nicolay and Phonte are currently working on the fourth Foreign Exchange album.
What I’m trying to say is that, really, there is no better time than now for Timberlake to drop his third solo album and start another round of feel-good pandemonium. Hell, he could do that by just confirming that he is indeed working on said record. No more rumors from guys with names like Beanz, just a straight-up proclamation from the newly married singer-turned-actor-turned-
Look, I can’t personally comprehend the pressure that Justin feels, but I get it. I also know he dealt with a heavy pressure leading into FS/LS, too, because let’s face it, that wasn’t a step forward from Justified as much as it was like dude descended into one of those Mario Bros warp pipes and re-emerged on a throne. And those of you who kept tabs on FS/LS know that he only began working on it after a two-year-long hiatus from music. Why? He was burnt out and felt like he had lost his artistic voice.
It’s possible he’s still feeling that way after the stress and noise that came with the overwhelming success of FS/LS. It’s a certified modern classic in my eyes—goofball Timbaland feature on “Chop Me Up” and all—and deserves a follow-up. Not necessarily a sequel or maybe even anything remotely in the same neighborhood. Just … something. There’s no better time than now, Mr. Timberlake. Let’s make it happen.