I understand that there's been a cultural reassessment of JT in the last several years, but the fact is that most of his early 2000s stuff sounds like Axe Body Spray smells. Best track: Cry Me a River
Justified is the debut solo studio album by American singer Justin Timberlake. It was released on November 5, 2002, by Jive Records. The album was written and recorded in a six-week period as Timberlake's band NSYNC was on hiatus. For his solo album, Timberlake began to adopt a more mature image as an R&B artist opposed to the previous pop music recorded by the group. The majority of the album was produced by the Neptunes (credited as "Williams and Hugo") and Timbaland, and features guest appearances by Janet Jackson, Clipse, and Bubba Sparxxx. Primarily an R&B album, Justified also contains influences of dance-pop, funk, and soul music. Justified received generally positive reviews from critics, who complimented the mature progression of Timberlake's material, although some criticized its lyrical content. The album earned Timberlake four Grammy Award nominations, including Album of the Year, and won the award for Best Pop Vocal Album. Justified debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 and sold 439,000 copies in its first week. It was certified three-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), having sold over 3.9 million copies in the US. As of 2012, the album has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
I understand that there's been a cultural reassessment of JT in the last several years, but the fact is that most of his early 2000s stuff sounds like Axe Body Spray smells. Best track: Cry Me a River
Pharell Williams has obviously written most of this, to the point his voice is the first thing you hear on the album lol. And Pharrell loves Michael Jackson, but JT doesn't have the chops to really pull off the vocal theatrics needed for a good MJ knockoff. There's cheesy "reppin" from no doubt wholesome rappers, eg. Pharrell himself, maybe 1 or 2 others. Really cringey lyrics; almost every line a tired cliche. I recognised way more than I thought I would (club hits from when I was 18 I guess, even though I tried to avoid clubs I still ended up in them from time to time). It's at least consistent in songwriting, and the production is flawless, but overall too long and too many ballads. Dragged on towards the end. 3/5. None of the full charm of catchy boy band stuff, but at least there wasn't 300 different songwriters like on Britney/Christina etc albums.
THE best pop album of all time no arguments nothing further from the defence thanks your honour. I've said it a few times now during this exercise but Pharrell is absolutely everywhere on everything if you listen for him, absolute production genius. Sprinkle in some Dre with JT over the top and you've got a recipe for something very special.
Not bad for the guy who threw Janet Jackson under the sexy bus. 4 stars.
Super nostalgic. Takes me back to HS and college days. Half of these songs were played on the radio and in "da club". Some songs have aged, but the hits still sound fresh. Hard to believe this album is over 20 years old now.
I don't disdain, and even admire in some ways, ther star maker machinery (behind the popular song). The judicious addition of soul and hip hop elements to the dance and pop foundation of his boy band roots is well considered and well done. He certainly has the goods, both in voice and star quality. Typical of products of the machine, it has that manufactured taste... the human element almost glossed over. For what it is its top of the line though, if not really my cup of tea.
A Timberlake Thanksgiving was well received. Also, I can tell he went through quite a breakup. I feel you, man. I've been there.
Not bad at all but a little boring
Bland early 2000s pop. It's competently done (Pharrell is a producer) but it's just bland. And too long. Could have cut 20 minutes and it would have been bearable. It's also really cliche and just sounds of that time.
I'm not a Justin Timberlake guy but I did enjoy watching my wife dance to the album, and that adds a +1 for me.
it’s not bad it’s just really not any good
It was almost good. Almost catchy. Almost impressive. Sometimes it even was. But mostly, it was just... almost.
This album really is all over the places with a lot of different sounds, instruments, influences. But despite variety of elements and vocal range, the album is severely lacking in any kind of soul or any aspects that make it actually interesting.
Man wanted to be MJ so bad! This is such a Time Capsule of an album… The Neptunes sound was everywhere when this came out and there are a couple of great singles. But so many of the rest are grafting forgettable songwriting and indifferent vocals onto that production. Songs *feel* long even when they’re not. Not great.
Dude… no. Literally the music that made me get into alt genres. Production is impressive tho.
That was awful. Torture.
I am not the target demographic for this record, I'm sure it would have been better if I were in a club looking for action. Best song for me was Cry me a River, which is a sentence I never thought I would write.
Immediate 5. Justin Timberlake's vocals are phenomenal. paired with the two best producers of all time... this album has no choice but to be amazing.
Never listened all the way through. The hits are hits, there's a lot of quality, but also a bit of boy band hangover.
Pretty strong record with Timbaland's prints all over it. Just bloated heavily.
Generous 4 but the singles still bang
I will go 4 stars because there are 4 good songs on here. There are several skips but a few of the high quality songs have become iconic, so JT gets the bump from 3 to 4.
5 stars! Just kidding. But there are some bangers on here. This is his first solo album, and it’s way more soulful and r&b than *NSYNC, although there are a couple boy band songs on here. Great dance music
Justin Timberlake is a generational talent. no doubt about it. I think one of the things he does best is working with the right people. The Neptunes did the bulk of production on this album and turned out some incredible tracks like Senorita, which is a massive leap above the status quo of the pop charts in 02. Pharrell's choppy drum work and genre-bending vision makes this album still groove 20 years later.
I came of age right around the heyday of Britney and the boy bands, so they’ll always have some kind of place in my heart even if this was never the music that excited me. And I definitely remember when Justin became the heir apparent to Michael and just how good some of these songs are. I never listened to the album before, only knowing the hits, but some of the deep cuts are good, just the kind of 2000’s R&B that takes me back. Definitely too long and runs out of steam halfway in, but I can’t rate this any lower than a B.
This album came out when? Oh boy, am I OLD :( Sure, some boyband filler here, but back in the day, who knew the Trousersnake could be so FUNKY. The Neptunes influence here means there's plenty of top-notch pop / R&B crossover vibes. "I'll have you nekked by the end of this song" - indeed.
Some of these are jams from the era, but listening now feels dated. 3.5
Just brilliant 4/5
4 kæmpe bangers. Og for det får albummet 4 stjerner. Alt for mange skips, der gør albummet fuldstændig ligegyldigt. Kunne have være 4 sange langt og så havde det fået 5 stjerner.
I like his stuff from this album more than his current stuff he's making. This is peak JT coming off of N'SYNC and showing everyone why he went solo. This album is clearly justified and if you think otherwise you can cry me a river (dear lord that was a terrible pun)
This is one of the less expected ones for me to say I own on vinyl. Original pressing. There was a rumour at the time that this album is made mostly of tracks Michael Jackson rejected for his comeback album. It rings true. This is high end pop. Timbaland and The Neptunes at their peak and giving their all for the singles, all of which pop. The back half of the album is less good, sadly. I have a worn first disc and a spotless second one...
Hate the man but he makes great music
It's fucking sexy. Great debut from JT with some absolute bangers on it. One hell of an R&B classic
Blisters with influences everywhere. Disco, pop, funk and latin all tinge throughout this solo debut. JT is bringing it even if the party seems uneven in stretches of this. You’ll definitely shake your whole ass when this spins.
The first half is great, the second falls a little flat.
This album sounds just as dated and "of its time" as any of the 60s albums I've reviewed, but since this time is *my* time, these songs cause an absolute flood of nostalgic dopamine in my brain. I used to sing some of these songs to my wife when we first started dating in 2002, the year this was released. It's funny that the album from the *NSYNC kid was considered more as hip-hop than pop a the time, thanks to his collaborations with hip-hop icons like The Neptunes and Timbaland. My walk down memory lane aside, this album is stuffed with bangers. It is "of its time" in all the best way, like a musical time capsule stuffed with early '00s pop, hip-hop, R&B, & Latin-inspired grooves, with a splash of disco and a heavy dose of Michael Jackson worship thrown in for good measure. There are some weaker moments on the album, like the formulaic Take It From Here, and the messy Let's Take a Ride that keep the album from being an all-time classic. But honestly, even the lesser songs are pretty catchy, and overall this album is stuffed to the brim with certifiable radio hits and club bangers that will have you nodding your head and swaying in your seat. Easy 4 stars.
A cool pop r&b album, a number of known tracks. and worth a listen.
Very poppy. Too much for me.
Can't wait, really enjoyed, always love justy timm
You know what? I wish I could hate on this, but it's pretty damn solid. JT might not sound the most heartwrenchingly sincere, and the songwriting may be several shades away from personal and moving. But his vocals are pretty smooth and agile, the hooks are sticky, and the production (Timbaland and the Neptunes) is so crisp, clean, and creative. Pretty nice batch of pop songs.
It's a strange album. The music is a mix between R&B, boy band pop, and a huge dose of Michael Jackson. I think the album is best when it's leaning into the MJ style pop, but it obviously can't measure up. Justin Timberlake is a great singer, which this album showcases, but I'm not sure if this is the best display of his voice. The lyrics are fairly basic which is to be expected, but at over an hour, this album is way too long. Overall, it's fine but doesn't quite get to where it needs to.
incredibly odd - strong songwriting and beats on display here. Feels almost like an attempt at some great producers to create a nice non threatening star. His voice is ok, it's not Michael Jackson as much as he thinks he is. really it's an attempt at creating an edgier pop star who is still nice and cute looking, the stand out tunes are really good but they don't have any of the actual singer's personality in at all. Overall it's still a pretty good listen.
Good Album with some big hits but overall, at the runtime of more than an hour, the rest of the songs were just a bit too similar sounding to get 4 stars
Just a very average collection of songs. Yes production is amazing, 2 big singles, but those songs only stand out because of 20 years of exposure. Objectively, they don’t stand out anymore than the other tracks on this album.
This is better and more consistent than I expected - of course I knew the singles, but the rest of the album holds up okay as well. It's too long, there's a bit too much production on it so it sounds more manufactured than I'd like, but I guess that's part of the appeal. Won't ever listen to the album as a whole again, but pleasantly surprised when I did. 3/5.
I wanted to hate this. I expected to give it a single star and move on to something better. But, while there is a lot here to actively dislike, there's also a lot here that forms a compelling argument for JT's enduring presence in pop culture. The songs are mostly dumb, let's just make that clear. The subject matter is shallow and repetitive to an extreme degree. But they're built exceptionally well. There's a deep understanding here of what works and what compels listeners to stick around. Not that I credit JT with that. He's mostly just an excellent vocal talent packaged in a pretty face. But he's managed to pull together a team that knew exactly how to leverage his skills to maximum effect. In the end, I can't, in good conscience, fail the record. I still didn't enjoy it but I also can't hate the skill and, maybe more importantly, the psychological and sociological understanding on display. This is an album that understands its audience and plays directly to what moves them. That's worth some stars.
3.7 - He’s obviously talented but he’s a bit of a tool, isn’t he? Don’t get me wrong, I still like him. I mean, he did “dick in a box”, so there’s that. But doesn’t his whole lady’s man schtick seem a touch cringe in hindsight? Also the way he apes Michael Jackson in his dance moves and his grunts? Or the smooth synth R&B that sounds a little too much like Stevie Wonder (see “Nothin’ Else”)? Still, though it is derivative, this is a fun, danceable pop record.
As much as I love to hear a full hours worth of Neptunes and Timbaland beats, this pretty much follows the usual formula of big mainstream pop albums. Any singles are packed into the front half of the album, and the rest is filled with pretty average filler. We even get a little piano ballad to finish it off. It wasn't too bad, but it really didn't need to be over an hour long. Every single song is like 5 minutes long, just cut a couple songs completely and trim a few to a solid 3 minutes and I'd be fairly happy.
Not bad. Cry Me a River is a banger. I think what I bump against on this album is that while I find the production interesting and creative, I don’t find Timberlake himself to be that compelling as a singer. Technically, he’s good, but I don’t hear a lot of originality. That makes it hard for me to listen to this and think it’s anything other than fine.
I hated how much I enjoyed it, starts strong but loses a lot of steam in the second half.
Turn-of-the-century heart-throb pop at its finest. Say what you want about him, you have to respect JT for the career he has made, he’s a true entertainer. Pure listening pleasure for me is like a 2, but he gets an extra star for the nostalgia factor and for the way he makes every 30-something year old woman turn instantly back into a 13 year old girl with his poster on her wall and his CD in her Discman.
Not bad. Definitely better than I expected. There was a lot of diversity between the songs. It did seem to peter off in the back half though. Overall, I wouldn't ask my daughter to turn this off if she turned it on. 3.25/5
This album is super over-produced empty-calorie pop, but I can't help but like it. It probably comes from listening to Michael Jackson basically non stop when I was in the second and third grade. I can't say that I ever go out of my way to listen to JT, but I'm never sorry for hearing it in the wild, so this gets a 3/5 for that.
Some dizzy music. Don't mind it tho.
This was kind of the last album I expected to be listening to on my journey through all of these albums. What I'll say is that I wasn't completely blown away, but I was also pleasantly surprised by some of the cuts on this. Justin was already famous before this came out. He didn't have to build up his career from ground zero off of his debut. And I think Justin has a nice voice. I mean, it sounds like any radio-friendly pop singer voice from the 2000's. But that doesn't mean it's not good. He has a falsetto, and he puts it to good use on this album. The closing track is definitely where he shows it off the most. And honestly, any album where you have Timbaland and The Neptunes collaborating on songs together is bound to be good. That trio probably has more hits than any other combination of producers ever. And it's deserved, because they are all truly masters of their craft. The song "Señorita" starts off the album strong. And I love the section on that song where it sounds like Justin is speaking to a group of people at a party and telling them when and how to sing. I don't care what anyone says, "Rock Your Body" still hits just as well as it did the day it came out. And it just hasn't aged for me. It could come on in the club today and I would be dancing and singing along. Some of the other deep cuts I enjoy are "Last Night" and "Take Me Now". I find that I like about half of the album, or like every other song. The ones I'm not into as much aren't bad, they just didn't click with me. The lyrical content of this album is pretty consistent. And by consistent, I mean if you aren't into love songs, don't listen to this. Every song is a love song. It is honestly impressive how Justin manages to sing about the same topics in different ways on so many songs. I enjoyed listening to this more than I thought I would, just because it was a nice break from music I like to listen to a little bit more critically. This feels more like fun background music to put on while studying or doing dishes, and I think leaning into that mindset makes this much more enjoyable.
Buena voz masculina para una sucesión de canciones unas más calmadas y otras con más intensidad. Pop un tanto blandengue. Fácil de escuchar en cualquier momento.
There are a couple of entertaining songs on here but the 2000s era overproduction is in full force. Also, this album goes for over an hour for pretty much no reason. 6/10
I've heard some of his songs before and seen him perform on shows like the Grammys, and he's definitely talented and entertaining. This album is okay. I like the style but most of the tracks to my ear seem to be lacking something, not sure what it is. Like they held back or something.
Soms funky en best leuk, soms heel zijig.
Meneer T heeft best goed naar M.J. geluisterd, en dat kan ik zeer wel waarderen. Niet alles op dit album is even sterk maar er zitten echt heel wat zeer catchy tracks tussen.
Love "Señorita," "Cry Me a River," and "Rock Your Body," and while the rest of the album's a little uneven, it's hard to fail when you've got Timbaland and the Neptunes producing. 3.5 stars.
R&B. Pop. Soul. Muy comercial.
Weird to think this is 20 years old! He's a likeable chap who sings well enough and has good producers in Timberland and The Neptunes. Some good pop hits. Pleasant, easy listening modern inoffensive r&b. Such a huge mistake by Jacko to pass on these songs! Im sure it outs have revitalised his career. Pretty good pop, but just not special enough for 3.5 stars.
Decent pop album from the early 00's - Standouts include Señorita, Like I Love You, Oh No What You Got, and Cry Me A River.
Very shiny, expensive sounding, great production and vocals, but an awful lot of filler outside of the big hits. Not for me, but a solid 3
There are some well written songs on here, even if its a bit of a meme. The weaker tracks aren't awful either
This is a fairly generic sounding R&Bish album for the most part. I like Rock Your Body the most. I know Cry Me A River was a big hit, but listening to it again I hear nothing spectacular.
Was excited for this, but then learned it doesn't include 'Dick In a Box' and also it's not very funny. JT sounds like a '00s reincarnation of Color Me Badd.
I had never listened to this album except catching the odd track here or there in public. It's catchy. I'm not sure it merits the fame, but it's definitely catchy. I'm probably too old for this?
Better than I was expecting it to be, never something I would choose to listen to again. Ultimately, it is perfectly well produced disposable pop. I doubt anyone would miss its passing.
Listened Before? N Not too bad. Very, VERY early 2000s USA vibe. It's kind of a fun nostalgia trip. There are a few amazing pop bangers here, and the mix of beats and instrumentation is fun. I like this one. The main negative I have is that the second half of the album kind of drags. He would have done well to switch up the style a bit and this may have been considered an all-timer. Added to Library? N Songs added to playlist - Senorita, Cry Me a River
At last a decent album to listen to. Easy 3*
Buried pretty far below the lede on the Wikipedia article for this album is the fact that most of these songs were intended for Michael Jackson and subsequently rejected by him. That makes this album make a hell of a lot of sense, since several of the songs sound very much like MJ songs, especially Rock Your Body. I don't think this is a bad thing in any way, since Timberlake did a great job with these songs and has the voice and charisma to pull them off, but it also undercuts the narrative that features more prominently in the Wikipedia article, which is that Timberlake was writing these songs while on hiatus from N'Sync. Both can be true, but it feels weird to emphasize one so much over the other I wasn't excited to listen to this album, but the fact that it's produced by the Neptunes makes everything better. It's good that they are represented on this list, since they formed such an integral part of the sound of the early 2000s, along with Timbaland, who is also on this album. I don't know that there's much to say about the actual songs. They are all at least fine, with some of them being great. It's a pop album, but I think it would be fair to say that it was also THE pop album of this period 3/5
Oh 2002, what a time. I would have been a sophomore in high school. A Senorita, Cry Me a River, and Rock Your Body were played EVERYWHERE. You couldn't escape Justin Timberlake if you wanted to. While I don't like it, it was very successful at what it was going for. It's almost kind of cute now in contrast to pop music these days. Can't deny that he can sing either. Strong solo debut. Interesting some of the tracks were intended for Michael Jackson but he turned them down. But yeah, definitely don't wanna listen to it except maybe at a party for nostalgia and then it's just kinda funny.
Some good songs, plenty of hits, though Margaret recognized more of them than I did. The only one I very clearly remember is Rock Your Body. Commits the CD era sin of just being too long, and there are some obvious candidates to cut in my opinion. He's clearly a great singer and his sense of humor comes though here and there. Hearing this made me wonder why NSYNC and Backstreet Boys don't appear on this list, yet here is JT, and we've listened to multiple Christina Aguilera albums for example - something against boy bands? Not that I want to hear those albums again but I think it's a fair question.
This takes me back to, like, middle school dances. This is a scenario about which I have many complicated feelings. Trying to divorce my feelings about that time and about the actual music is a challenge. I think this is all just fine early-2000s pop music, I guess. It's been stuck in my head all afternoon so I'll give it that.
I appreciate this next progression of Michael Jackson pop music
I guess one thing this album has got going for it is that I'm hearing it one day after suffering through Limp Bizkit. So I'm feeling generous... to a point. Okay, so let's set the table here. Justin Timberlake wants (needs, really) to be taken seriously as a solo artist, so he brings in the Neptunes and Timbaland among others to help craft his debut album. On that level they generally succeed. Production is pretty excellent, if very much of its time. There are some solid pop hooks and a few pretty danceable bops. I imagine this was top tier pop 20 years ago. So what's missing? For starters, songwriting. I'm not coming to Justin Timberlake looking for well crafted lyrics, so it's hard to ding him too much for that. But it's really not helping his case that these songs just feel really brainless. I'm losing IQ points talking about it. It's like eavesdropping on a dumb conversation in the club, interspersed with the occasional heartbreak song. Blah. What else? The vocals, seriously the vocals. I keep seeing reviewers describe Justin Timberlake as a great singer, but he's really not. You guys need to listen to more actual soul music. Try as the Neptunes et al might to dress him up, this is a pretty soulless album, and that's fully on Timberlake. He tries to channel Michael Jackson here in his vocals and he almost gets there, but the ultimate effect is that this feels like what would have been a lesser Michael Jackson album. The backing vocals for the most part are also terrible, which only highlights Timberlake's own deficiencies. Even Janet's brief appearances, which I barely noticed, don't really add value. Why bring someone with her level of talent in, if you're not going to use it? Far from the worst thing I've heard, but this is a 3 at best. I suspect 10-15 years from now, these songs won't hold up well at all. Fave Songs: Last Night, Rock Your Body, Cry Me a River, (And She Said) Take Me Now
Está bien, me alegro de que no haya ni una sola balada (excepto la última canción)
Above average funk pop album. 3.5
The drums are incredibly tight. The title of the album I begrudgingly appreciate the utter depravity of the pun on display. Really great pop production. Timberlake does a solid Michael Jackson impersonation. I don't care for this style of pop.
Throwing the inner hater a bone is totally healthy, occasionally. Best when it's by the Neptunes, and hurts even better. Justified certainly has some sounds: The obviously synthesized ones stick out like mental infection, pinning the album directly to 2002. The inability to reconcile sincerity and silliness is fascinating, the vocals ranging from Michael Jackson impersonation to acceptable. There are a few songs I could spin as sweet, but hope I always respect myself enough to keep them out of a lover's ear.
Nope, didn't enjoy that - the singles, of which there were far too many, got played to death when this came out. I suspect if I was hearing them with fresh ears I probably wouldn't find them too offensive. But then three or four of the non-single tracks were slowed down syrupy ballads, and those were actively offensive to the ears. Gross. Fave track - "Like I Love You" was the least aggravating single, so that one I guess, though it brought me precious little pleasure.
Yeah Nah. I don't really understand the hype, it's boppy it's fine, but not for me. I did enjoy Cry Me a River and Rock Your Body (probably more because I know it from Just Dance)
2.5/5. I almost wanted to play this album in a private session because I don’t want any presence of this slimy bastard on my Spotify. It’s fitting that they got him to play an even bigger scumbag than Zuck in the Social Network. He ruined Janet Jackson’s career and reputation all because he wanted to get back at his ex and did not get nearly as much flack because he’s a man. Half star is for Pharrell Williams.
Wow this is garbage. Great voice though.
In the middle section I spotted some favourable melodies.
Mediocre Justin Timberlake album. Weak songwriting. The production is nice of course, but the follow-up album is quite a bit better.
I get why they added a huge pop star like Justin to the list, but it seems lazy choosing his debut which is pretty uneven. The following album Futuresex/LoveSounds is much better in my opinion.
Vintage JT just a little depressing song choices
I just can’t with this album. Maybe if I reviewed it back in 2002 the rating would be higher, but the songs all sound the same, and I find his voice to be very whiny on this album. I love his SNL skits and enjoy him as an entertainer (if you know what I mean, and I know you do!), but this album Just Indicates to me that it should be viewed similarly to seeing the Timber of the forest or murkiness of a Lake.
As a lot of others have mentioned, the Neptunes/Timbaland production throughout is easily the best thing about the album. The opening two songs and the two big singles all absolutely slap, but unfortunately it’s a very front-heavy album and nothing after Rock Your Body makes an impact. A lot of the songs go on for a good minute or so longer than they should, and a couple of tracks (especially Nothin Else) are just outright bad
Not a huge fan of the sound, but I do like JT’s voice. I like the jazzier sound of the 2020 Experience, but this isn’t too bad and obviously Cry Me A River is a bop.
I feel like this album is here as a time capsule to 00s pop music. Aside from two of the songs, the production is handled in turn by The Neptunes, or Timbaland with Scott Storch. I prefer the Neptunes tracks, typically (I'm not all for Storch's pseudo-Middle-East schtick), but most of the songs on the record drag out far too long, and some of the tracks wear their influences too close on the sleeve. Still, an interesting listen, if only for the glimpse into what pop would become. Favorite tracks: "Cry Me A River", "Like I Love You"
trousersnake with his pervert music. i'm well out of the loop on anything but is this music the type of stuff that these days gets cancelled for being creepy, like blurred lines? the big hits on this album were the nonsense music that young not nigel had to endure when going to bars and clubs as a youngling. like some sort of coming of age endurance test.