FutureSex / LoveSounds - Justin Timberlake

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Graceless he may be, but Timberlake is nevertheless kind of fascinating on FutureSex/LoveSounds since his fuses a clear musical vision -- misguided, yes, but clear all the same -- with a hammyness that only a child entertainer turned omnipresent 21st century celebrity can be.
  2. While FutureSex/LoveSounds is not a masterpiece, it’s damn good.
  3. It is this excess of ambition over achievement, as opposed to any real consistency, which makes FutureSex/LoveSounds more of an album than Justified was. Songs which sound puzzlingly self-indulgent in isolation-- most obviously, the smirking, tenuously tuneful first single "SexyBack"-- are cloaked in a compelling intensity and purposefulness when played in succession.
  4. 60
    Laudable, but overreaching. [Nov 2006, p.130]
  5. A set of forward-thinking pop reminiscent of Sign O' The Times-era Prince. [Oct 2006, p.115]
  6. 60
    Only problem is, he also wants us to love him for his mind, so he has declared this a concept album. [Nov 2006, p.116]
  7. Although his best new tracks are thrilling... some of the up-tempo stuff flirts with mechanical muscle-flexing. [21 Sep 2006, p.86]
  8. Whereas his 2002 solo debut shot a glance back to Michael Jackson's 'Off The Wall', this is more indebted to 'Smooth Criminal', early '80s Prince and on its ballads, Stevie Wonder. [9 Sep 2006, p.37]
  9. There's going to be a coronation very soon, and anyone who cares to invest will be handsomely rewarded by the future king.
  10. By its closer... FutureSex/LoveSounds feels like an entirely different and far less interesting album than the one you started listening to.
  11. The enjoyable, forgettable FutureSex/LoveSounds may be a just-okay Timberlake album, but it's a great Timbaland demo reel.
  12. The Sexyback single makes wise use of filtered vocals to artificially deepen his tone and support his macho pose, but only so much can be done with studio gimmicry. He's soon back to tweeting his game in a prepubescent chirp; the more suggestive his come-ons, the funnier it gets.
  13. It's a lot like Justified in that it's a solid collection of expertly produced pop songs whose flaws will be devoured by its almost guaranteed string of hits.
  14. Timberlake's second solo record is dark and dirty to begin and smooth and sexy to finish. With only a few awkward cameo tracks to damage its reputation, this is going to be the soundtrack of the next few months.
  15. 80
    The vibe is all infectious, feverish build-up. [Nov 2006, p.155]
  16. While it’s nowhere near Thriller or Purple Rain, it does manage a healthy attempt at a reinterpretation of both.
  17. Although the mix of dance beats, pounding basslines and palatable vocals is occasionally marred by mundane R&B tracks like "Until the End of Time," there are far more pop gems than slow jams.
  18. How well do Mr. Timberlake and Timbaland work together? So well that they can make even the world’s most irritating percussion instrument, the human beatbox, sound pretty good.
  19. Even the lesser efforts are superior to typical chart fare.
  20. No dispute: Usher, Beyonce, Christina, Britney were just keeping the seat warm: The King’s back on his throne.
  21. "FutureSex/LoveSounds" isn't an easy listen at first. Its crazy layers meld together into a sticky bit of a mess, and the lyrics are mostly standard love stuff. But repeated listening helps the tunes unravel. [11 Sep 2006]
  22. FutureSex/LoveSounds isn't nearly as good as its slinky predecessor.
  23. No modern-day male artist beats him when it comes to single-minded self assurance or suavity.
  24. 40
    Timberlake and Timbaland... write frustratingly awkward songs. [Oct 2006, p.142]
  25. If he hasn’t yet invented a persona intriguing enough to live up to his music, give him credit for being one of the few white men still brave enough to make black music.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 278 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 129
  1. Jun 12, 2011
    Absolutely not my style at first but this album is flawless. Justin Timberlake proves he's one of the best nowadays. I literally can't wait for the next album, it's gonna be hot. Full Review »
  2. TimL
    Feb 3, 2007
    Honestly, one of the better albums of 2006. It has a fresh new sound, it doesn't sound like the same chewed up the industry seems to force feed us. Great production value as well. Anyone saying this album is horrible, is simply jealous because they either can't have Justin, or can't be him. Thats what happens when people let their biases through. Full Review »
  3. TBadlands
    Oct 11, 2006
    I'm an indie brat that loves JT, but this record is kind of an overindulgent mess...maybe I just need a few more listens, but it really sounds like JT did EVERYTHING in his power to run away from "justified"...no need. Artists can grow without a sea change on every new LP. I think JT needed to get this record out of system, but it's far too unfocused to rival Justified, a peerless modern classic. This record is far from a "sophmore slump", but it's nowhere near the masterpiece of future funk he thinks it is. Many of the tracks go nowhere, at least 80% of this record is filler. Worse, the beats are boring, the songs are mostly hookless exercises, JT's new "sexy" attitude sounds contrived. Shame, really, we love him for who he is...a former Mickey Mouse Club/Boy Band showbiz kid who proved with "Justified" that he was one hell of a talented singer/songwritwer despite it all. I hope JT goes back into the studio and remembers to use his talent, as opposed to running away from it. Maybe LP number 3 is the masterpiece we expected here. As it stands, this record is an interesting curiosity, but ultimately dissapointing. Full Review »