HOLLYWOOD—We all watched the Super Bowl, yes, about 106 million people watched Justin Timberlake’s half time show. Timberlake’s graced the Super Bowl stage three times, making him the first artist to do so. It was a good week for him, considering he released his fifth solo album “Man of the Woods,” billed as a return to the singer’s Tennessee roots two days prior. This should have been a triumphant week for Timberlake, but both the album and his performance have been savaged by critics. His performance wasn’t magical, it just didn’t work, scrambling through his archives to find any moment that connected him with the audience. In fact, many critics found his show very disappointing.
So what went wrong? People were expecting a little bit more from half-time. It seemed he didn’t give it his all, lackluster….and slightly disappointing. It’s not that people have any resentment against him, they wanted more entertainment. In fact, truth be told, his tribute to Prince was touching. For many, it goes back to the relationship with Britney Spears.
After they broke up, he made music and videos that traded on their story and told several interviewers he’d taken her innocence- a personal detail that wasn’t his to share. People don’t forget these things. For others, it’s about his failure to support Janet Jackson after exposing her breast to millions of TV viewers at the 2004 Super Bowl. Timberlake’s half-hearted acknowledgement of that moment at this year’s show did not go unnoticed.
He chose to perform the song “Rock Your Body,” during which the famous wardrobe malfunction took place, and yet he didn’t mention Janet: He didn’t shout her out, and he stopped the song right before the line during which he ripped off her costume. It was almost like he was trying to erase what had happened in the past, but that is just not flying in 2018. Justin has also been criticized for his fumbled response to the #TimesUp movement.
He starred in Woody Allen’s latest film, “Wonder Wheel,” but appeared not to consider the moral implications of working with the director, who has been accused of sexual abuse by his adopted daughter. He later appeared at the Golden Globes wearing a Time’s Up badge, but appeared to miss the point of the movement, sharing a picture of himself and his wife Jessica Biel captioned; “Damn, my wife is hot! #TimesUp#whywewearblack.”
This was suppose to be his comeback, however, he seemed to misjudge it. Comparing this year’s performance to last year’s performance by Lady Gaga, she killed it. Despite the backlash, Timberlake’s album is set to be the week’s biggest new release. Go figure! Seems that politics and albums don’t seem to mix. Just ask Katy Perry. Bottom line, if the music is good, it would override any of those ideological problems people have with it. Just look at Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars, they are doing very well for themselves with music. They’re not saying anything profound.
“Man of the Woods” is what happens when a pop star’s favorite pastime is golf. Truth be told, Timberlake doesn’t appear to have unduly damaged by his critical mauling. The album is coming along, and streams of his music jumped dramatically following the Super Bowl. According to published reports, YouTube fans streamed half a million Justin Timberlake videos in the hour immediately after his performance.
Rose’s Scoop: The MTV gang is back with “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation,” starting April 5. They are bringing the Jersey Shore to Miami.