pointed me to this review of Justin Timberlake's new single, SexyBack, in the New York Times
. It's really fascinating, sort of positing that Justin is actually trying to make a statement with this song about male sexuality and being loved for being pretty and stuff. Only they say it better:
In this context, Mr. Timberlake’s new song is a surprising act of defiance. “SexyBack” was produced by Timbaland, along with Mr. Timberlake and Timbaland’s protégé Nate Hills, and there’s a techno-derived dance beat so sharp and so emaciated that it can’t help sounding paranoid. The lyrics begin with Mr. Timberlake purring his manifesto: “I’m bringing sexy back/Them other boys don’t know how to act.” So he teaches them.
There is a woman in this story: a “dirty babe,” according to Mr. Timberlake. (Naturally, the epithet sounds more appealing when he sings it.) But she’s a minor character, upstaged by the “dirty babe” behind the microphone. And not just upstaged: the more he sings, the more Mr. Timberlake sounds as if he’s campaigning to replace her. “Girl, let me make up for the things you lack,” he moans. After all, she’s not the one “bringing sexy back”; she’s just watching him do it.
It's a really good review. I think maybe (just maybe) they're giving Justin a little too much credit with this whole "statement making" thing, but then again, if there's one person who knows what it's like to be loved based solely on being pretty it's Justin. Or Britney. But also Justin.