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Justin Timberlake - Selfish


It’s been years since Justin Timberlake last released a proper single on his own, and his fan base has been waiting to hear from the superstar. After teasing a new tune and even previewing it at a recent concert, the singer has finally dropped his comeback song–but it might leave many wanting more.

“Selfish” arrived on Thursday morning (January 25) as one of the earliest highly-anticipated new pop tracks of 2024. The single is all about how much he loves a particularly person–so much so that he thinks of them all the time, wants them all the time, and so on. Lyrically and thematically, the tune doesn’t cover any new ground, or even dive into familiar territory in an inventive way, which is unusual for Timberlake.

The single itself begins slow, and while it grows and builds, it doesn’t reach a satisfying crescendo by the end. The cut never picks up enough steam to become very interesting, which is quite disappointing. “Selfish” doesn’t advance beyond album track status, and even then, it would likely rank as one of the songs on a full-length that can easily be skipped upon a full listen-through.

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It’s not that the cut is bad–it just isn’t enough of anything to grab the attention of the masses and keep it, as the singer has done so many times in the past.

The song’s music video arrived at the same time the single dropped, and while it’s a bit more interesting, the premise and story are a bit confusing. Timberlake is on set filming a music video (meta) when he notices a doorway leading to another room. That space is some kind of office, only... it’s smaller than normal. Not quite dollhouse in stature, but small enough to make the singer uncomfortable. He leaves that universe, smashes it with his feet... and then does a bit of dancing. It’s possible that this is only the first part in a longer storyline, but for the moment, it’s a bit...odd.

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“Selfish” isn’t the word that comes to mind when listening to Timberlake’s just-released single–a more fitting one would be “meh.”

Timberlake is one of the most talented pop stars of the past two decades, but his output lately hasn’t been up to his normal quality. “Selfish” is his first single on his own since his Man of the Woods era, which was more than half a decade ago by this point. That album came and went fairly quickly, failing to produce any massive hits.

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“Selfish” is the first taste of Timberlake’s forthcoming new album, which is named Everything I Thought It Was. The set will drop on March 15—a date that was revealed at the same time the song arrived. With only two months to go before his album arrives, the singer is in full promo mode. The former NSYNC star is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live this coming weekend, and he’s also recently announced a new free concert in New York City as well.

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