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coverpic flag Mare Smythii - Full Moon 120 - 07/11/06

An open letter to Justin Timberlake
by Matthew DeMello

Dear Justin Timberlake,

I can not emphasize, without becoming sickeningly overdramatic, the tremendous amount of hope and excitement that surged through my soul when I first heard your debut solo album. The following questions were aroused in my first ten spins of your record: How could modern pop have any consideration for Delta-Blues soul? How could an ex-boy band frontman play such mad key board lines? And lastly, Why isn't this cheesy enough to put Kraft out of business?

These questions and more bewildered all seasoned listeners and the pure catchiness of MTV standards like "Cry Me a River" and "Rock Your Body" maintained your towering sex-god like mythological status with your fan base.

Little did your fan base know that you were continuing a legacy of sex and soul in pop music that has been present since James Brown first pulled his groin on the stage of the Apollo Theater in Harlem, 1962. John Mayer once called pop music in the 80s an age "completely without soul" and admit it, 90s boy bands, especially your own, continued those standards passionless technics and industrial, money making bubble gum. Yet what I admire about you the most is that you saw this, like none of your contemporaries could, and decided that same spirit of Motown and Al Green would be the primary ingredient that would allow you to deviate yourself from your teenybopper past.

You made a believer out of this noise-punk junkie, now scribbling these inspired words in your honor. I've been fighting critics of modern pop for years-I'm not willing to easily submit that ours is an age of pop draught and only in secret have I carried my skepticism. Your album gave me evidence for my diminishing case.

Since your album, such a cause has become increasingly hopeless with every pointless single that Destiny's Child releases. To be fair, there are some positives: when the singles from KT Tunstall's inspiring new album, Eye to the Telescope, ends up on the Now 22 compilation, or when Nelly Furtado shows up to the party in a Slave-era Brtiney costume for a killer hit like "Promiscuous"... or basically... when Timbaland produces literally anything. But the cons far outweigh the pros in shear sales numbers, chart positions, and sickeningly synergetic, nationally televised talent shows.

Even you're ex-girlfriend can't take the heat! A few years ago she was following your suit, she finally put out an album of some quality, littered with tasty singles featuring James Bond theme-like guitars and trip hop production. Then she gets hitched twice in a row (once forgetting how to get a pimp to sign a prenup), then got knocked up god knows how many times by the world's biggest white-boy-that-wishes-he-was-black tool bag that ever walked god's green earth.

I'm getting off track but the point is: what the world needs right now is your follow-up album. Forget love sweet love, peace in the middle east, and Bush's resignation -- if we just get headphones on every ear listening to your sweet 14-year-old-girl falsetto singing over slammin' synthesizers and the best Timbaland beats your money can pay for, then we just might be able to spread world love, establish a functional Iraqi democracy, and get all us liberals to quit complaining along the way.

I hate to rush genius, my friend... but hurry!


As a loving fan,

Matthew DeMello

Copyright © 2006 Matthew DeMello e-mail address

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