Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Justin Timberlake – TKO

Going after the massive Pendergrass fanbase now, JT?


Patrick St. Michel: Justin Timberlake is not conventionally cool in 2013, but he’s been making it work for him nonetheless. His best singles have been ritzy numbers about wearing suits and nights on the town, in direct opposition to the last-night-on-Earth oblivion fueling so many other pop songs over the last few years. He’s on some dad shit, but he’s mostly been the dad who you don’t mind drinking some with and talking about women with. “TKO” is Dad downing one too many Bud Light Plats and becoming worse than uncool — he becomes corny and insufferable and creepy as fuck. Using boxing as a metaphor for sex is goofy enough. That he does it for seven minutes is inexcusable. Timbaland sings “kill me with the coo-coochie-coochie-coo” without a hint of irony. Justin Timberlake says “rematch sex.” Seven minutes. Please just focus on the new MySpace, man.

Alfred Soto: I’m gonna outsource my blurb to Robert Christgau, writing about Daryl Hall in 1986. Like the rest of The 20/20 Experience Pt. Deux, “TKO” is “bloated by endless codas, superfluous instrumentation, hall upon hall of  vocal mirrors, and the artist’s unshakable confidence that his talent  makes him significant.”

David Turner: I never made it through the first song of the “20/20 Experience: The Story of Marriage of Sex and Passion, Part One of Too Many”, because it felt long at five minutes. *Checks Wikipedia* That song was 8 minutes. Fuck. I gave this one a full listen. Again. Fuck. 

Cédric Le Merrer: Why would you name a song “TKO,” aka the boring kind of KO? I could write some bull about how JT & Timbo knew this was a bad warmed over version of their old selves, but the lyrics clearly show they either don’t know or don’t care about the difference between a KO and a TKO. This T is just a lyrical filler in a song about wich the best I can say is that it indeed fills its 7 minutes running time.

Edward Okulicz: Behold, Internet, your “you’ve got to like him or at least fancy him” pop artist given free reign to show you the extent of his musical being! Multi-part albums and seven-minute singles! Ugly, isn’t it? It’s like an entire song made up of bits thrown out of hours of hypothetical early drafts of “Cry Me a River.” Very bad and very long, feeling overstuffed and yet containing in essence absolutely nothing, “TKO” is pure indulgence; his not ours. 

Jer Fairall: Seemingly incapable at concision these days, Timberlake’s latest nevertheless makes good use of a sleazy synth-funk riff, and a classically busy Timbaland production, engaging enough to sustain the bloated running time. The titular metaphor, on the other hand, is so ridiculousoly laboured that it wears itself out almost immediately.

Katherine St Asaph: Girl OTM.

Brad Shoup: I could deal with his custard yammer if he were 1) telling a story — like, a real story with details and quotes, not metaphors, or 2) going for pure nonsense. Timbaland and his cohorts work up a Toompish riff but forget to beef it up, but never fear, we have sound effects!

Anthony Easton: I have given 90 minutes of my life to this song, in an attempt to find something to say about it, all I have is that I miss when he knew how to make perfect 3 minute pop hooks. If Gravity teaches us anything, maybe it is a renewal in the idea of terseness and seriousness not being enemies. This is inflated and absurd. 

Reader average: [5.14] (7 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

13 Responses to “Justin Timberlake – TKO”

  1. Sweeties, please review this masterpiece. I hope that it isn’t too late yet! =))

    Gnesa – Wilder

  2. my god, every riff here IS from “Cry Me a River.” (see: “You don’t have to say — what you did…”)

  3. First time anyone has ever agreed with a negative thing I’ve said about JT. Maybe my ears do work!

  4. [2.00] is pretty awful, but (if I’m calculating properly) this would have scored a pathetic [1.50] were it not for my generous rating. Sorry, guys.

  5. What generous rating? *considers deleting Jer’s review*

  6. Anthony – his hooks may lasts three minutes, but his songs have never been that short…

  7. wow, yr right, cry me a river was 5. still.

  8. “Rock Your Body” is the tightest, I think.

  9. “Rock Your Body” is near-perfection but the ending maybe goes on a bit. Still very very tight.

  10. What would this have scored if it had stopped at 3:30?

  11. I’d have cut the “endless codas” phrase.

  12. Well the bit about the coo coochie coochie coo is in the first 30 seconds, so… 2.15 maybe?

  13. Still [1]. I might have written more than two words then, not having to balance matters out.