There’s Bigger Problems Than Justin Timberlake “Going Country”
Timberlake also says about his new single “Drink You Away” that “It’s a country song to me,” referencing the lyrics that refer heavily to the drinking theme common in country music. Timberlake has also mentioned wanting to dabble in country music in the past.
As much as Justin Timberlake on the surface may have the prototypical career track to make him ripe for ridicule by even inferring that he might “go country”—including his past as a mouseketeer turned boy band sensation with N’Sync before striking out on a solo pop career—there would be some fundamental differences between a Justin Timberlake country record or move, and similar moves from other pop or non-country artists like Sheryl Crow, Darius Rucker, and others.
The typical modern “gone country” move occurs when an artist loses support from their traditional genre or entertainment realm in the twilight of their career. But Timberlake is on top right now, and has no reason to shift gears. In fact, it could be risky for Timberlake, especially if he wanted to shift his entire career in a country direction. But likely he wouldn’t. It would simply be a one-off project to fulfill the inner desire of a man who was raised in Memphis and was exposed to country growing up. Would it be good? Would it be true country? We have no idea, but for the same reasons many artists that “go country” get ridiculed, Timberlake deserves a little more latitude because of the levity with which he’s approached his later career.
Most pop performers become polarizing figures of one form or another in the court of public opinion, regardless of the quality of their music, or the likeability of their personality. Being put on a pedestal always lends to spite and ridicule. But Timberlake has weathered this storm better than most, and curiously so. He’s seen as an artist with class and taste, who is above his fellow mouseketeer Brittney Spears, or the Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus’s of the pop world, even though Timberlake’s music is certainly pop, and he’s done such raunchy things as the Saturday Night Live skit “Dick in a Box.”
But there seems to be a much more elevated, unspoken respect for the authenticity of music from Timberlake, and less of a focus on the spectacle compared to his contemporaries. Timberlake is sort of the Sinatra of our time for the lack of a better analogy, though like many modern popular stars, you struggle to find the classic, legacy songs in his lexicon that will outlive his career. “Sexyback”?
You never know when this type of “I want to make a country album” talk is just talk; just a lark from an artist thinking out loud in an interview. Folks were ready to jump on Gwyneth Paltrow a while back when see was rumored to be making a country album in the aftermath of the movie Country Strong, and it never happened. The infamous Chris Brown has been talking about making a country record for years, and Tim McGraw even used Chris as a vehicle to cross over into the R&B world a few years back. But nothing solid from Chris Brown in the country realm has ever surfaced.
Does the idea of a Justin Timberlake country album excite me? None whatsoever, except for the fact that it is bound to make a good discussion point or curiosity piece. The problem has never been artists from outside the genre dabbling in the country format. If an authentic desire to make country music rests inside of an artist, they should express it. The Ray Charles album Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music remains one of the greatest country albums of all time, and there’s other examples where such endeavors have been critically successful.
It’s not that a Justin Timberlake country project is something that doesn’t warrant curiosity or outright concern. But giving a quick listen to country radio, there are much bigger issues with country music that are not hypothetical, but actually infecting the country airwaves. If Justin Timberlake is one of the last bastions of class in mainstream pop, he might even be an improvement to the mainstream country format. It’s hard to see how he could be any worse.
So we’ll take a wait and see on Justin Timberlake, and in the meantime do battle with what we already know is bad. Besides, he already knows how to mock Taylor Swift at award shows.
November 25, 2013 @ 3:05 pm
If Timberlake can make a (real) country album half as good as his pop albums, his comedy sketches, and his acting…he’ll be fine.
I don’t care what anyone says about him. He’s on of the most talented people in entertainment.
November 25, 2013 @ 3:10 pm
I don’t have a problem with other singers making country albums, as long as they’re GOOD country albums. I think there’s plenty of room for a good album, regardless as to the original genre the artist belonged to. What I have a problem with is country being looked at as the fall-back genre-the one that the pop singers and such run to when they’ve lost popularity in everything else and think they can make one last stand. (Incidentally, I think that country singers kind of look at Christian music the same way.)
November 25, 2013 @ 3:15 pm
I forgot to add… I think he would have a Civil Wars vibe if he put out a country album. He’s not the kind of artist to do a brantley, luke bryan, or any of the other cookie cutter type thing.
November 25, 2013 @ 3:17 pm
I’m all about it. Timberlake seems to have complete control over his musical direction, especially for a one off piece. So If he wants to make a country album referencing his influences hopefully he’ll go get some of the producers that made that music or understand that music, rather than the mainstream guys we’re sick of. If he makes a record that has an old school, real country feel from the 80s-90s it shift the entire genre. We know because of his stature in the music community it will be popular and will get a push from the industry and will be popular.
I’ve thought for awhile that for the genre to change it would take someone crossing over or one of the older performers selling a massive amount of records. If Garth Brooks gets things rolling and on the radio, and JT makes the right kind of country album, and they both get massive amounts of airplay, i could see a new wave of performers coming in and the current performers adopting a more traditional sound….
It’s all a big guess, but I can dream can’t I?
November 25, 2013 @ 3:31 pm
Creative control would be very important, and Justin Timberlake would certainly have it. One of this issues many “gone country” artists have is trying to hold onto their unique voice, pay homage to country’s base for safe passage into the genre, and make an album they know will be commercially successful, while being in a point of weakness as a diminishing asset. With Timberlake, it would be the exact opposite. He wouldn’t have to chase trends, the trends would chase him.
November 25, 2013 @ 5:13 pm
LOL @ “old school, real country feel from the 80s-90s”
Fire up dem drum-machines, boys, and turn yawls amp to 11!
November 25, 2013 @ 3:20 pm
Exactly. JT has the power to change the genre for the better if he does it right. Like you said, he seems to have complete control over his music. I could see him going to a Rubin type to be a producer. I’m sure that he would it right with class and respect.
November 25, 2013 @ 3:25 pm
I think that Michael Buble fits much more Frank Sinatra’s style, but I get what you’re trying to say here.
November 25, 2013 @ 3:51 pm
Yeah, JT is more like MJ with shorter hair.
November 25, 2013 @ 3:57 pm
Yeah, that was more a commentary on his stature in entertainment than his style.
November 25, 2013 @ 4:13 pm
I was having a good day until I read the title of this post – just (mostly) kidding.
I analogize JT with Michael Buble, whom I regard as a great performer as a result of my being dragged to a few of his shows by my wife.
I think that JT’s talent transcends his boy band beginnings to his being an across the board entertainer similar to Sinatra, Bobby Darin or Robert Goulet, all of whom I like a lot.
If he wants to cut a “one-off” album, I won’t buy it but I will respect it as the effort of a quality entertainer to move beyond his historical genre(s).
I hope that no one suggests this possibility to Justin Beiber, Lady Gaga, Cher, etc., though.
November 25, 2013 @ 4:30 pm
Dean Martin had some good country tunes…
So it is possible for Rat Packers to go Redneck, haha.
Oh yeah–Tony Bennett covering “Cold Cold Heart.”
And it can go both ways, a la Eddy Arnold, Jim Reeves, Ray Price.
November 28, 2013 @ 12:18 am
Hell, I’d listen to a Lady Gaga country album. She has a great voice.
November 26, 2013 @ 10:40 am
I agree. I think JT is just about the closest thing we have to an old school Entertainer these days (He sings! He dances! He acts!). He’s proven to be talented on so many fronts, that I would tune in to watch or listen to whatever project he had going. And if he decided to put out something country or rootsy, I think he would be very respectful to the genre. He’s managed to create music with lots of different influences without being condescending or making it seem like a parody.
From him, it would seem more like an exploration of his own artistry, and less like a past-prime musician making one last stab at relevancy. He certainly doesn’t NEED country music to maintain his place in the entertainment industry.
November 25, 2013 @ 3:53 pm
As much as I’d like to bash the idea of JT making a country album, I’m currently listening and singing the praises of the new Billie Joe Armstrong/ Norah Jones Everly Brothers project as one of the best country music albums of the year and who would have thunk that!
For better or worse, I’m sure he’d enlist some Nashville A-listers for an album… reinstated Garth, Reba, Carpterbagger Kelly Clarkson. With that said, I lasted only 50 seconds into the above youtube clip.
November 25, 2013 @ 4:20 pm
I think he could do something amazing with Valerie June, Stoney Larue, Lucero, or Robert Randolph. They all have that combination of country and soul music. This video you posted reminded me of the song “Home” by Marc Broussard for some reason.
November 25, 2013 @ 4:23 pm
Holy crap is that a powerful performance!!!!
I’d go to a concert of his if that’s what I was going see and hear.
Wow. I know he has an excellent voice, but I had no idea he was capable of something like that.
I don’t think you’d have to worry if this guy did a country album.
and I have to compliment the proprietor for the music that gets showcased here.
November 25, 2013 @ 4:39 pm
I would be somewhat intrigued by a Timberlake country foray simply because of his Memphis background and the fact that he has treated other genres, such as classic R&B, with a certain amount of respect and sophistication (as much as could be expected, really). To me, he really *gets* the essence of that kind of music, which encourages me that he could do good things or at least tolerable things in the country mode.
November 25, 2013 @ 4:47 pm
Although, I will add that the performance up above is “country” in about the same way John Mayer’s latest offering was: pretty much his usual stuff with some changes in the window dressing. It’s not *bad*, but there’s nothing that interesting about it. However, JT has enough talent that he could surprise us.
November 25, 2013 @ 5:01 pm
I don’t think Justin was trying to be country in the above performance, and I think when he was talking about the song “Drink You Away” he was alluding more to the heart of the song being country than the actual performance and production. I think the above performance gives us some insight into what country Timberlake may look and sound like, but I don’t think we should look at it as a country song or performance itself.
November 25, 2013 @ 5:17 pm
I heard the interview and it was a little sarcastic. He was serious about the theme of it being “Country”. I believe he is a long way from Country now, but as most know he was singing an Alan Jackson song on star search at age 11 http://youtu.be/mI2ncihBpkM so there could be some real respect and appreciation for the “Genre”. The interviewer was Stormy Warren and he had a well known Nashville singer/song-writer (cant remember name) do a Country Version of drink you away typical electric guitar with some acoustic and more twang, not sure where it can be found but I can see how the song could be “Country”.
November 25, 2013 @ 5:07 pm
I’m not a fan of him lyrically. Some of his songs and videos are just as sexist, if not more, than some of the bro-country songs people are always complaining about.
Having said that he is one of the more creative pop singers going around, I’d still be interested to see what he comes up with.
November 25, 2013 @ 5:28 pm
The respect that he is getting and the “I think he would do fine” comments on this article is proof that if you are a genuine, respectable artist, you will be accepted. I’m glad too see it on here.
November 25, 2013 @ 5:43 pm
I’d welcome a country record from JT. Do we honestly think he enjoys or even listens to what is going on on country radio? Absolutely not. He would approach it in much the same way he does R&B music, trying to pay respect to the past while also adding his own flavor to the music. It would be his artistic interpretation of country music not an entertainer trying to sell records and trying to build a career in country. It would be ten times better than just about everything getting airplay these days. It also will sadly, never happen. We could probably list a hundred other artists in Pop or rock who, if they truly wanted to, could make great country records.
November 25, 2013 @ 6:46 pm
I think the guy is a douche bag and a closeted homosexual and I see no redeeming value in any of his crappy music. I don’t care if he makes a country album because I wouldn’t listen to it anyway. Prancing around like a nancy-boy to choreographed dance music isn’t my thing.
November 25, 2013 @ 9:46 pm
Where’s the [Thumb Down] button on this blog when you need it….
November 25, 2013 @ 10:09 pm
Projection much? You are really crushing on JT aren’t you?
November 26, 2013 @ 7:03 am
This smearing act of yours (e.g., Dylan, rap genre and now Timberlake) is getting really old.
November 26, 2013 @ 7:10 am
What do you mean by “act?”
November 26, 2013 @ 9:44 am
You are offended by the instances of plagiarism associated with Bob Dylan in the last decade or so, so you label him a “total fraud” and suggest that maybe most of his work over a career spanning 50+ years is fraudalent.
You are offended by gangsta rap (as I am, largely), so you label the entire rap genre, which has been around for about four decades now, as evil. Over and over.
You don’t seem to like Kris Kristoferrson’s liberal politics and Hollywood profile, so he is the least talented of the Highwaymen and didn’t really belong in their company.
You don’t like the notion of a pop star possibly recording a country album (I’m fairly skeptical, myself) so you infer that he might be a homosexual, as if that in and of itself disqualifies someone from being a country artist. So much for Brandy Clark, I guess.
November 26, 2013 @ 12:48 pm
Why is it an “act?” I actually know and/or believe to be true the statements that I make.
As far as Dylan goes, if you don’t believe me, go back and read what Joni Mitchell said about him, or read the details of the lawsuit filed against him by James Damiano. I don’t need to re-hash this here, Trigger has written about it before, and, as you noted, I have made comments about it.
As far as rap goes, I do not believe it to be music or have much artistic merit. I think it is low, base, harmful, and not fit for decent folks. I would hardly categorize the frequency of my stating this as “over and over.” Compared to you and many others, I post relatively infrequently.
I’m not a huge fan of Kris Kristofferson. He has written some decent songs, many of them pop and not country, but I don’t consider him to be on a par with Waylon, Willie, or Cash. If a 4th person of that era was sought to fill-out the Highwaymen line-up, it should have been Merle Haggard, David Allan Coe, or Jerry Reed. The comments about Kristofferson’s politics were made by Kristofferson himself in a documentary I watched about The Highwaymen. Kristofferson said something to the effect that “Waylon never liked me because I was a communist.” James McMurtry is my favorite artist and the best songwriter of the last 20 years. He certainly is no right-winger. I don’t dislike Kristofferson because of his silly, naÃ¯ve, and childish politics, I just don’t think he’s that great.
Lance Bass, Timberlake’s former boy-band member, and out of the closet himself, has said that he always though that Timberlake was gay. I can’t fathom why Timberlake would be taken seriously by any country fan. He is famous for being in a boy band and singing crappy pop and dance music, as well as a couple of lewd publicity stunts. I generally think that Trig is extremely perceptive, but I don’t see Justin Timberlake as a modern day Sinatra. Harry Connick, Jr. or Michael Buble, possibly…
November 26, 2013 @ 4:35 pm
RD, what does being gay have to do with anything? If he makes a country albums that is good, it’s good. His sexual preference has nothing to do with.
Way to completely reinforce the stereotype of country music fans. You know, the ignorant, racist, hateful, homophobic, and bigoted stereotype.
Run along and let the adults talk.
Bigfoot is Real (but I have my doubts about you)
November 26, 2013 @ 8:01 am
Yes a thumbs down would be great. I am often disappointed that this site allows hate speech like RD’s but only shows a “thumbs up” count as the only measure of support for idiotic comments such as his. RD’s hateful comments are a poor reflection on the country music community.
November 26, 2013 @ 1:28 pm
If I had the ability to add both thumbs up and thumbs down, I’d do it. We’re always trying to work on ways to improve the site.
Censorship is something I don’t enjoy practicing. Believe it or not, I censor comments all the time, and I think the language and hate in these comments sections has improved dramatically from where it once was. I probably deleted 5-7 comments just yesterday, and now those people are probably on Facebook saying how I’m a Nazi for not letting them speak their mind. If people don’t want to see sentiment in the comments section that passed my eye, I encourage you to speak up like you’ve done here. I would also encourage other commenters to listen to the wishes of others in this comment community and respect their wishes and pick their battles and wording better to try an convince people of their opinions.
November 26, 2013 @ 1:46 pm
I personally don’t mind a little rough and tumble back and forth in the comments as long as it doesn’t resort to juvenile name calling and that’s what this whole ‘ooh he’s gay’ crap comes across as to me. And in a much larger sense this plays to the stereotypical left coast/ right coast opinion of country music fans as bigoted rednecks which I hate with a passion.
November 28, 2013 @ 11:48 am
I think this site actually compares favorably with many others in terms of hateful or lewd comments. You could watch a YouTube video of the summer sun rising over a field of daisies, and the comment section would be a racist, homophobic flame war about whether the president is a New World Order reptilian changeling.
At least most of the comments here are coherent and relate to the topic being discussed.
November 25, 2013 @ 7:44 pm
I could see him putting out a decent, true country record, mainly because of the artists he would bring on board to be on it. I’d love to see a Beck produced album, featuring some folks like Dwight Yoakam, Alan Jackson, Willie, and Ryan Adams. The “cool” factor that JT carries with him could really help the genre, I think.
November 25, 2013 @ 8:07 pm
5 Tips for Timberlake’s country crossover:
1. Replace lyrics about Cristal champagne with Lonestar/Jack Daniel’s.
2. Get a big ol’ leather strap (with “JT”) for that bedazzled guitar he’s holding.
3. Switch out soul horn samples for lap steel.
4. Instead of Jay-Z as hypeman hire George Strait.
5. Rename album “Nudie Suit & Bolo Tie”
I know he can do it, ’cause I’m a Belieber!
Oops, wrong Justin.
November 25, 2013 @ 9:32 pm
Timberlake has a ton of talent and could probably make any project successful. He’s a very entertaining entertainer, a rare thing these days.
November 25, 2013 @ 10:18 pm
I think an outside the genre act could make a really interesting country album especially if it is just a one off artistic growth kind of deal if they truly respect the genre and I suspect he does. The major problem with the Sheryl Crow’s and Darius Rucker’s of the world is they are viewing country as the last stop for any relevancy their careers may have so they do whatever they have to do to play the game of the Nashville mainstream masters. Someone like Timberlake has the juice to really make an artistic statement ala Ray Charles who made his country record not to switch genres and ‘go country’ but out of respect for the art form.
November 25, 2013 @ 10:20 pm
The bigger concern is that the perception is that anyone can make a country album. Real Country music is a craft built from years of experience, hard work, and musical genius. I hate the fact that celebs think they can jump right in and do it. The sad thing is, and the reason why most of us are here on this blog, is that they can sell records and further beat down the real Country music artists.
November 26, 2013 @ 1:33 pm
“…is a craft built from years of experience, hard work, and musical genius.”
I’m not making this argument personally, but many would say you just described Justin Timberlake. I’m personally reserving judgement until I hear some music, which we many never hear. This could all just be talk from Timberlake.
I’m not sure the notion that one successful country megastar inherently means other artists must suffer for that star’s success. Sometimes a rising tide can raise all boats, just like a lowering one and hurt them, and that is my bigger concern when it comes to country music. Honestly, my since is the Timberlake effect will have no real impact on independent and underground country artists, while artists like Eric Church, Justin Moore, and other fake Outlaws downright poach fans from their ranks.
November 26, 2013 @ 1:50 pm
To elaborate on my point – it’s not that I see Justin Timberlake taking record sales away from Hellbound Glory (for example). I see that people like Timberlake, x-over artists, and pop country taking away the DEFINITION of country music. The heart and soul of country music is slowly being stolen from us. When these artists succeed, there’s less incentive for record labels to give a second look at traditional country artists. Country is being turned into a over the top, pop musical – devoid of any true soul.
I used to listen to everything BUT country music. Simply because I thought Toby Keith and the non-sense on CMT was country music. I don’t want any of the kids growing up or anyone else thinking that’s country music. It’s not. It’s a disgrace. I know the pop country freight train is out of control and can’t be stopped. Just venting I guess.
November 26, 2013 @ 5:40 pm
Compared to today, the last decade’s mainstream country can be considered classic country. I don’t see how inviting artists from other genres can possibly worsen country radio. When you’re at rock bottom, there is only one way to go…
November 26, 2013 @ 2:04 am
Hahahaha, I always get a laugh out of the term “true country”. I think that statement is as opinion based as asking someone what kind of pizza is the BEST. For me true country is a song that portrays real emotion and makes me feel something. Eric Church has a lot of them, Waylon has a lot of them, Brantley has a LOT of them (omg wow look what I just said!!!!!!). Some of my favorite country songs are sung by Garett Hedlund who isn’t even a singer he’s an actor!! Some people might say Johnny Cash was the definition of country, and while he is my favorite artist he has a ton of songs that have more of a rock n roll or folk feel to them than country…I respect Justin a lot as a person and as an artist, I think he could really do something great if people wouldn’t get so wound up about the fact that he hasn’t always been a “true country” artist (whatever that is)
November 26, 2013 @ 9:07 am
I’m going to write down 3 Waylon songs. Now I ask that you name 3 Waylon songs. I bet I guessed them…
It is opinion, you are correct, so it can’t be argued as fact, but I would offer up…if you are moved by Church and Brantley(holy shit), then consider some of these artists if you’re curious how we come up with “true country”
this list can go on and on and on….
this list can go on and on too…
November 28, 2013 @ 3:40 pm
okay!!!! I’m just going to pick the ones that I personally enjoy the most!
1. If You See Me Getting Smaller
2. Good Hearted Woman
sorry if those are too mainstream Waylon for you!! I enjoy listening to most of the artists that you posted above, especially Merle and Jamey Johnson.
Even Triggerman (sorry to drag you into this) has agreed that if you can look past an artists radio songs and look deeper into the songs that don’t get any recognition because they’re not radio fit, you’ll find some amazing songs…now i know that this is going to be a little out of your comfort zone, Tim, but maybe give a listen to a couple of these songs and get back to me! cheers!!
Just because songs come from an artist that’s recognized as a commercial artist doesn’t mean they don’t have good songs in their archives
Ranx Ze Vox
November 26, 2013 @ 5:33 am
The only thing that worry me is the voice of Justin Timberlake, maybe a little bit too slight for a Country singer.
November 26, 2013 @ 7:30 am
I grew up in Memphis and the most prominent musical influences were soul (Stax), blues and rockabilly-style rock (Sun, which had DAC’s first contract).
The city lays claim to the origins of 6 different types of music (rock, blues, country, bluegrass and soul are five of them – presumably gangster rap is the other), but that claim is a little silly.
In addition to Lucero, I would add North Mississippi Allstars, along with JT, as the most prominent musical influences eminating from Memphis.
November 26, 2013 @ 8:25 am
My sarcasm detector must be on the fritz. It is screaming that this whole article was a joke. It makes me feel like I’ve entered some sort of late Halloween costume party and everyone here is pretending to like Justin Timberlake.
Well, I don’t buy it. I want to know who you people are and what have you done with the real country fans?
Seriously. A country album by Justin Timberlake? And I’m supposed to treat it with anything less than complete disdain?
November 26, 2013 @ 1:07 pm
Here we go with the “real country” thing again hahah
November 26, 2013 @ 1:39 pm
I think this speaks to the universal likeability of Justin Timberlake that I spoke about in depth in this article. People have seen him on Saturday Night Live, or heard his music here and there, and they’re not turn off by him like they are 90% of pop culture. Even if you personally think he’s horrible, this is the reality that surrounds this guy, and there’s no better evidence than the love he’s getting from the pack of wolves an SCM comment section usually constitutes. So like him or not, understand IF he made a country record, his likeability would be an important element. And that’s all this article is about. Who knows if he’ll actually make a country album, and if he does, what we’ll all feel about it. Maybe it will instigate a rant and we’ll all be ripping it apart. Who knows.
November 26, 2013 @ 5:47 pm
The guy started out in a cheesy boy band during one of the worst eras in pop music history, and now even curmudgeons like myself (and some of the other folks her) 😉 ) have bought into the idea of him being a cool guy and a credible artist. That’s a pretty big accomplishment on his part, I guess.
November 26, 2013 @ 8:47 am
Whoa whoa whoa.
The “Drink You Away” song and performance are as awful as I’ve ever seen JT. JT maybe talented, for this era, but lets slow down the comparisons to Dean-o, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles etc… He might try to do music like they did, but he is far far far from their level. FAR from it.
With that said, I’m not to concerned if he cut a country album. Some of the artists outside the country genre see how country music has become a joke and they truly have love for country and want to bring some quality music back.
Hell, Megadeth just played a George Jones tribute with Jamey Johnson.
I don’t see JT coming into country to compete with FGL or Aldean. I think he sees the “amateur” music that is and feels he can bring back some substance.
But let’s not get carried away with him being Rat Pack like. He doesn’t have the voice, isn’t nearly that f-ing cool and if “Drink You Away” is his best attempt at country, well, unimpressed.
November 26, 2013 @ 2:24 pm
“He doesn”™t have the voice”
November 27, 2013 @ 6:49 am
I’m very serious. He doesn’t have the voice to be compared with or consider with Dean-o, Bennett, Sinatra, etc… Sure, he might dress the part and try to do the lounge singer routine (and yes he can also do some R&B and rap) but his voice is far far FAR from being in the league of Rat Pack-esque singers.
Watch the “Drink You Away” performance. He might be putting all he has into the song, but if any of those legends did that song…they would blow him off the stage.
He’s talented in a lot of ways, but he’s no Chairman of the Board.
Six String Richie
November 26, 2013 @ 11:51 am
Let’s not forget that he auditioned on Star Search at age 11 singing “Love’s Got a Hold On You” by Alan Jackson as Justin Randall Timberlake. He also collaborated with Reba on her Duets album on a song called “The Only Promise That Remains” which he co-wrote with Matt Morris. He could make an excellent country album if he really wanted to. I think the album should be titled “Randall.”
November 26, 2013 @ 2:32 pm
I don’t necessarily believe he’d make a great country album just BECAUSE he’s JT. But, BECAUSE he’s JT (and he’s shown himself to be talented in a wide variety of other media), I’m not going to poo-poo the idea right off the bat. Despite his boy band roots, I think he’s proven that he’s not just a flash in the pan. There aren’t many other pop stars I’d be so open minded about. For example, I’ve read here and there about Ke$ha saying she might do some country stuff. She hasn’t proven to me that she’s talented within her own genre – I’m not interested in hearing anything from her.
And in the interest of full disclosure, I came of age in the boy band era, and have been a fan of JT’s for a long time. I might not be considered impartial.
November 26, 2013 @ 2:35 pm
That comment was meant to be a response to Karl above. Not sure how it ended up down here!
November 26, 2013 @ 3:01 pm
Captcha failure would be my guess. If you fail the captcha challenge when replying to another response, you seem to lose the link to that response. Then, if you retry and pass the captcha, your post goes to the bottom.
November 26, 2013 @ 3:06 pm
Yes, that’s exactly what happened! Good to know.
November 26, 2013 @ 5:34 pm
That’s happened to me multiple times. And those darn reCAPTCHA’s are pretty hard sometimes!
November 26, 2013 @ 3:33 pm
I believe he could do it and would put all of his acting ability into the performance. Still, the best I would be able to say about it would be that he pulled off a convincing imitation of country. It would certainly sell more than .357 String Band. On the bluegrass side, we have Steve Martin, his releases have gone to the top of the charts.
I consider it like shopping at locally owned businesses rather than chain stores. It is better to support the local artists rather than send money that will just leave the community.
November 26, 2013 @ 4:48 pm
“On the bluegrass side, we have Steve Martin, his releases have gone to the top of the charts. ”
That’s because Steve Martin is extremely talented.
November 27, 2013 @ 6:35 am
I hear where you’re coming from on Justin Timberlake and a possible country album. Best I could say is that I might have a very idle curiousity about it to the point of previewing some songs, but I’d be surprised if it scratched my country itch to the point of wanting to buy it.
To a somewhat lesser extent, I hear you on Steve Martin. I personally haven’t bought his bluegrass albums (I am a bluegrass fan), but I believe his dedication to the banjo and his enthusiasm for American roots music is genuine.
November 27, 2013 @ 9:39 am
Hey Jack, I have the Steve Martin releases and I agree that he has built a history of support for bluegrass and roots music.
I wouldn’t describe him as Logan does. “Extremely Talented” is not an accurate description of Steve Martin’s banjo playing. Tony Trischka’s “Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular” has a duet with Steve Martin, as well as many other of the best banjo players currently playing bluegrass. Steve Martin manages to hold his own, but he doesnt dominate the field, or stand out as above average. He’s goo, but it doesn’t have any spark that makes me want to hear it again. There are session musicians who could put out an album of much higher quality bluegrass and have it go nowhere on the charts.
“Noam Pikelny – Plays Kenny Baker plays Bill Monroe” is a much better bluegrass album than “Steve Martin and Edie Brickell – Love Has Come For You”. He wont get to the top of the bluegrass charts, for sales or airplay (which generates sales) because he doesn’t have the name recognition to compete with Steve Martin or Edie Brickell. Steve Martin gets to the top of the chart on name recognition, not talent.
I’m not here to trash Steve Martin. I dont begrudge him any of his success. But I don’t listen to him either. It wasn’t offensive, or laughable, but I didn’t feel any need to listen a second time. I have a pretty liberal list on my iPod, which includes about 350 songs from a couple of hundred artists, and none of the songs from Martin’s CD’s made it to that list. But several of the Steep Canyon Rangers songs are in the list.
I cant imagine Justin Timberlake doing an album of country music that I would want to add to my country list either.
November 26, 2013 @ 7:03 pm
As he plays a member of the 60’s folk revival in the upcoming movie Inside Llewyn Davis this could simply be a bit of an undercover promotion.
Kind of gets people thinking of him in a country/roots context.
As for the man himself, i always try to have respect for an artist which stays relevant over so many years. I might not dig what he does but nobody can say he hasn’t worked his ass off.
November 26, 2013 @ 9:42 pm
love the Coen brothers movie,love the Coen brothers soundtracks…this might be the first time i’m completely indifferent to either,and it’s because of Justin Timberlake.
November 26, 2013 @ 9:44 pm
November 26, 2013 @ 9:36 pm
I will withhold judgement on a future JT country album, because I could see it going either way. It could be horrible or it could be borderline great. I hope he goes the “nashville sound” / standards route, because I don’t think he’d do a good outlaw / honky-tonk sound.
November 27, 2013 @ 7:01 am
I agree, and assume, he would stick to a “Nashville Sound” vs. Honkytonk. I think he could do pretty well doing some “lounge country” as I call it. He would be fairly solid (and genuine) in a Roger Miller sort of way. Is he as talented as Miller??? I don’t want to consider him Rat Pack like, so I won’t consider him in Miller’s league either. But the sound and image Miller had, is probably something in JT’s range.
Assuming it was Nashville Sound, the next thing he would have to consider is image. How he approached it from an image standpoint would be the biggest thing (sadly, bigger than the music). Does he try to country up his image or does he just stay JT and let the music speak for itself. I would prefer the latter.
November 27, 2013 @ 9:19 am
I thought JT was James Taylor. Or am I dating myself? 😉
November 27, 2013 @ 9:59 am
Yes, you date yourself, but I’m of the same age, so I agree, JT is James Taylor.
November 27, 2013 @ 11:56 am
I think if he’ll make a country record it would sound more rootsy or folksy similar to his songs on the Inside Llewyn Davis.
November 27, 2013 @ 9:48 pm
I have no issue with “gone country” albums but when its for obvious exploit of your failing career and the recent country fad i am pissed and usually when thats the case its garbage i.e parmalee, darius rucker etc. but JT is on top hes obviously talented. If he made an actual country album not a pop country abortion im willing to bet it would be good.
November 28, 2013 @ 1:57 pm
I remember him winning a video award and saying his father would be angry with him for beating out Johnny Cash.
December 4, 2013 @ 1:41 am
I was just about to write about that. I was watching that awards show, he beat out Johnny Cash and he talked about how wrong that was and how the voters made a mistake. It’s the only acceptance speech that I remember and even as young as I was, I remember respecting him for saying it.
December 1, 2013 @ 5:51 pm
Justin Timberlake is Bringing MySpace Back WoooooHoo, FUK FACEBROKE and the horse it limped in on! The NEW MYSPACE is ALL MUSIC! If you want to socialize by all means Tweet It, Twit It…or sadly just “Face It”…but if you want the music YOU LIKE…check out the “NEW” MYSPACE…Git, Got it and Hear It REAL!