Justin Timberlake's fans will probably say he just handed us 2016's ultimate summer jam. "Can't Stop The Feeling" is JT's first single in three years, and the video features a celebrity-studded listening-party with Gwen Stefani, Anna Kendrick, and James Corden dancing and singing their hearts out. This song is so upbeat and positive we daresay it could make an Olsen twin smile. MTV called it "a full-strength dose of adorable puppies to the face." Is "Can't Stop The Feeling" so great that Justin locked down the 2016 song of summer? It wouldn't be the first time that Justin came in with good-feels to win over the hearts and ears of America. The guy has showmanship and you can tell loves it. Maybe he always will.
Will Justin's reign as the "King of Pop" continue into the foreseeable future? Or have we hit peak Justin?
Justin's release isn't without its haters. Slate's headline says it all: "Justin Timberlake’s New Song Suggests His Heart Isn’t in Being a Pop Star Anymore."
Timberlake’s first new solo music since The 20/20 Experience three years ago plays like the final nail in the coffin of his pop ambitions. “Can’t Stop the Feeling” is a perfectly fine dance tune, trading on the disco-flavored Daft Punk-lite that has been infused in plenty of songs from the past few years. You will most certainly hear it everywhere this summer......But will you actively seek out this song in the same way you did “My Love” or “Señorita” or “Mirrors”? Probably not. Because this Max Martin-produced pop confection is about as bland as one can get... Not every artist is going to maintain that creative hunger or passion in the way that Kanye West or Beyoncé have over the course of more than a decade; most eventually burn out. And if Timberlake is no longer interested in pushing the boundaries of pop and R&B, it’s his right as an artist to pivot into other things.
Justin barely breaks a sweat in the video. Instead of dancing, we are treated to a meta listening party where he occasionally moves his body in sync with musical accents. The star power is there to take the burden off himself. These are Justin's famous friends. Justin is famous. Look at his still boyish smile. Enjoy this song.
It's fine if Justin doesn't want to be a pop-star. He's certainly explored a lot of acting and perhaps is waiting to break out in that arena. This video could be part of his reel, since he does more acting than singing in it.