Top 10 Justin Timberlake Songs

Justin Timberlake Songs

Photo: Ted Eytan, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Top 10 Justin Timberlake songs list takes a look at multifaceted artist. Born in 1981, Timberlake is a throwback to an age when entertainers did it all.  Justin Timberlake is a singer, songwriter, actor and record producer. He started performing as a child. He appeared on Star Search when he was younger. His big break came when he appeared on Mickey Mouse Club. Timberlake became a household name when he joined the pop group NSYNC. He was one of the lead singers in the group. They were one of the best-selling pop groups of all time. They released three CDs throughout their time together. They released their eponymous CD in 1998. It sold 11 million copies. Their second CD No Strings Attached broke records as one of the best-selling debuts of all time. It sold 2.4 million copies in its first week. Their third CD Celebrity came out in 2001. It was a successful CD.

In 2002, Timberlake released his first solo CD. Justified was a success for him. This CD contains the hit singles “Like I Love You,” “Cry My a River” and “Rock Your Body.” In 2006, Timberlake released his third CD FutureSex/Lovesounds. This CD contains the hit singles “SexyBack,” “My Love,” “What Goes Around…Comes Around”, “Summer Love,” “LoveStoned” and “Until the End of Time.” He released his third studio album The 20/20 Experience in 2013. It almost went platinum in its first week. It was the biggest selling album in 2013. It is also his best-selling debut album of his solo career. It is his third number one album. It contains three hit singles. The singles are “Suit & Tie,” “Mirrors” and “Pusher Love Girl.” He was nominated for a Grammy for this album.

Timberlake released his fourth CD The 20/20 Experience-2 of 2 in 2013. It is considered the second half of his previous CD. It contains the singles “Take Back the Night,” “TKO,” Not a Bad Thing” and “Drink You Away.” All of these singles made it into the Top 10. This CD received mixed reviews from the critics even though it went platinum. Timberlake decided to change up his style for his next CD. It had a mix of r&b, funk, pop, country and soul. This CD debuted at the top of the charts. It contains the hit singles “Filthy” and “Say Something.” These singles made it to the Top 10. This is his worst selling album despite debuting at number one.

Like most singers, he decided to try his hand at acting. He has a lot of acting credits. His first role was in the movie Longshots in 2000. The rest of his movies include Alpha Dog (2006), Shrek the Third (2007), Social Network (2010), Bad Teacher (2011), Trolls (2016), Trolls World Tour 2020 (2020).

Timberlake has a lot of hit songs with NSYNC as well as on his own. His style is comparable to Michael Jackson and Usher because he does pop and r&b music. This Top 10 list will consists of Timberlake’s hit singles as a solo artist.

# 10 – SexyBack

We open up our Top 10 Justin Timberlake songs list with the first single from the FutureSex/LoveSounds album. This sensational song is an electro-r&b, dance-pop and hip hop masterpiece. This song is about dancing in a provocative way. This song can be interpreted in different ways. It could be about dancing or it could be about sex. It is clearly a song meant to be played in the club. This song comes off more like a novelty song. It is not to be taken seriously lyric wise. Despite the fact that it is a novelty song, it is still a good one. The music is a different style for Timberlake. It is a departure from his r&b/pop roots. It has an infectious beat that will leave you dancing throughout the song. He takes a break from his tenor/falsetto pitch to try something different. He sings in a baritone pitch, which worked well with the music. He sounds like he uses AutoTune in the verses. For those who like his falsetto tone, it does appear after the bridge.

# 9 – Rock Your Body

Continuing with our Top 10 Justin Timberlake songs list we turn to the third single from the big time hit album Justified. This is an exhilarating song with a disco style r&b beat. “Rock Your Body,” is all about getting together with a woman on the dance floor. This song was originally written for Michael Jackson, but he wasn’t interested in the song. Lyrically, the song is similar to Jackson’s ”Rock With You.” The difference is Timberlake is bolder with the pursuit of the woman he wants in the song. It is befitting that the song is similar to Jackson’s because it was originally written for him. This song was a departure from Timberlake’s clean-cut image with NSYNC. He wasn’t singing sexual lyrics with the group. The dance music was incredibly catchy. He uses his falsetto range in this song. He sounds similar to Michael Jackson. He uses a lower range in the bridge. He also beatboxes after the bridge. He has great timing in this song. He sings in time with all of the beat changes. Timberlake and the Neptunes wrote an amazing song together.

# 8 – Like I Love You – ft. Clipse

” Like I Love You,” was the lead single released from the Justified CD. This is a lively fast-moving song with a funk and r&b beat. However this song is also a love song. This song sounds like a song NSYNC would have done. Timberlake wanted to do a song that would be considered a throwback with a mix of new school music. It was a different choice, but it worked. Pharrell Williams came up with the beat after listening to old school music. The music hooks you as soon as the guitar riffs begin. The drums are also inviting. Timberlake sings well with the music. This song is layered because he uses three different ranges. He sings in his normal range in the verses and sings falsetto in the hook and the bridge. He sings in a lower range in the ad libs. Clipse does a good job with their raps. They were a new rap duo at the time, but they sounded as if they were in the business for a while. They didn’t dominate the song the way other rappers do when they make guest appearances in r&b songs. The only complaint is what he does during the breakdown of the song. He starts needlessly talking in the track. The song could have faded with the hook instead of his talking. It wasn’t needed.

# 7 – Take Back The Night

This is the lead single from The 2/20 Experience – 2 of 2. This grooving song is a mixture of disco and r&b. This song is about him singing to the woman he loves. The music has an old school feel to it. It has a pumping baseline that will keep you moving. The horns and violins are a different touch for this kind of song. His vocals are smooth. He sings in his normal range throughout the track. He does include his falsetto range in bits and pieces of the song. It doesn’t make that much of an appearance. He doesn’t hold notes, but it wasn’t needed because it was great the way it is. He is clearly channeling Michael Jackson in this song. He even says a line from The Jacksons’ “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground).”

# 6 – My Love ft. T.I.

This is the second single off of Justified. This ballad is a mix of rock, r&b, techno and hip hop music. This is a love song about telling his woman that no one is going to take him from her. He sings the first half of the verse slowly and in his falsetto. He speeds up the lyrics in the second half of the verse. This is his mini attempt at rapping. He does this in a lower register, which blends well with the music. Timberlake originally wanted to sing this song with Jay-Z. Jay-Z turned it down because he was doing too many things at the time. It turned out to be a good thing because T.I. does a great job with his rap vocals. His southern drawl fits perfectly with the beat. His rhymes sound melodic. He also didn’t take over the song. Timberlake and T.I. worked really well together.

# 5 – Mirrors

This is the second single off of The 20/20 Experience. This midtempo song is a mix of pop, r&b and rock. This is a love song about his lover being the other half of him. It is likely written to his wife actress Jessica Biel. This song sounds similar to “Cry Me a River.” His vocals are very passionate. He sings the verses in a lower range while he sings the chorus in a higher range. He surprisingly belts in the chorus, which was a great touch. He adds little runs into the fade out. He sings this song with a lot of soul. The only issue with the song is he doesn’t enunciate enough in the verses. Other than his enunciation issues, this song is great.

# 4 – What Goes Around…Comes Around

This is the third single off of FutureSex/LoveSounds. This ballad is a mix of r&b and rock. This is a song about a woman betraying him. This is the sequel to “Cry Me a River.” The song starts off slowly then speeds up a little just before the chorus. His vocals are layered because he sounds as if he’s doing a duet. Timberlake creatively mixes the verses with the chorus, which is unusual for him. He uses different vocal ranges throughout the song. He is showcasing the control in his voice when he switches from his lower register to falsetto within the same line. He is pouring his heart out as if it is going to someone in particular. You can tell he wanted his lover to pay for what she did to him. The video features Scarlett Johansson. Don’t miss this video.

# 3 – Can’t Stop The Feeling

This single is featured on the Trolls soundtrack. This is an up-tempo song with a disco and pop-funk beat. This is a song about dancing. It is written for the movie because the writers wanted a dance track on the soundtrack. The music is flawless. There is no way to sit still through it. He definitely showcases his famous falsetto range throughout the song. There are points when he lowers his octave in the verses, but he mainly sings this in falsetto. This song is an earworm and will stay in your head after you finish listening to it. The music does drown him out a little towards the end, but it’s not a big deal because the song is so infectious.

# 2 – Cry Me A River

This song is the second single off of Justified. This is an r&b ballad with tempo. This song is about a woman who cheated on him. Timberlake dated Britney Spears before the release of Justified. He has made claims that she cheated on him. This song is clearly about Spears. He even has a look-alike version of her in the video. He sings this song with a lot of passion. His falsetto makes an appearance in the song. He sings the chorus in a smooth and velvety pitch. He belts towards the end of the song. He does beatboxing that wasn’t really needed. He clearly did it just to prove he could do it. The sound effects in the music weren’t needed either. These minor problems didn’t hurt the song, but they could have been omitted.

# 1 – Summer Love

We close out our Top 10  Justin Timberlake songs list with this smoking R&B dance tune entitled  “Summer Love.” This grooving jam was released as the fourth single from his spectacular album FutureSex/LoveSounds. Justin defines the desire of finding that special summer lover in this tune. The music is perfect. It is made for radio. “Summer Love.” is a song that echoes the work he did with NSYNC.  Justin Timberlake even showcases his ability to lay down a rap in the song’s verses. Justin Timberlake’s pitch perfect vocals fuel harmony parts that are to die for. As far as rhythm, Timberlake is the king of groove. He has stepped into Michael Jackson and Prince territory.

Justin Timberlake’s vocal timing is spot on throughout the music. Like most of Justin Timberlake’s output, the production on the song is killer. The vocal arrangements glide smoothly over the keyboard parts and blend happily together like a honeymoon in the Bahamas. That’s the effect of Justin Timberlake songs. They turn you on, make you feel good, unleash your inner soul to a point where you don’t want to stop, you just want to keep……

Top 10 Justin Timberlake songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2020

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