A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
FUTURESEX/LOVESOUNDS is just what the title implies: a collection of mostly danceable, occasionally romantic songs about the art of the chase. Justin Timberlake is a terrific singer, there's no doubt about it. He also appears to be a guy with something to prove. Once a sweet-faced boy-band rocker, he's made sure his solo career involves, along with a cadre of carefully selected producers and arrangers, a whole lot of songs about sex. Okay, we get it already. Yeah, it must be especially fun to say that "motherf--ker" word and sprinkle your lyrics with kinky-sex imagery when you grew up in the squeaky-clean boy-band world. But when it gets in the way of good songwriting ... well, maybe that's when it's time to get over yourself.
Is it any good?
Timberlake's wonderful voice is mixed inconsistently on these tracks. The songs themselves tend to be repetitive and a bit tedious, although once again they're performed beautifully. But Justin's obsession with proving himself to be sexy ends up working against him. All Timberlake ever has to do is sing well-written songs with his gorgeous voice and some simple, no-frills arrangements. Maybe one of these days we'll get to hear him do just that. Meanwhile, Timberlake continues to make sure we know that our little boy's grown up.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it might be like to be in a boy band and then strike off on your own. Would it be liberating or scary? Is there something to be said for finding safety in limits? How hard do you think Timberlake is working to make you forget he once looked as innocent as Joey or J.C.?