So, my all time favourite pop-crush Justin Timberlake is back.
Cheesy as I was as a teen in high school drooling over this was then cutie now grown ass hottie from ‘N Sync, I’m back to sleepless nights over this one track “Mirrors”.
Justin’s “Mirrors” is the returning popstar’s latest single is just the right kind of vintage.
Imagine being a newlywed and wanting to write the most epic song ever in honor of your life partner. “Mirrors” is Timberlake’s version of that anthem — how can you not think of the singer’s recent wedding photos alongside Jessica Biel when he endlessly repeats, “You are, you are, the love, of my life,” as if he had just soaked in the splendid finality of his romantic situation? Compare this album’s second single to “Justified’s” second single, “Cry Me A River,” and aside from the steady presence of Timbaland’s fantastically cluttered production, the difference between the song is clear: 10 years ago, Timberlake was broken, and now he is whole.
“Mirrors” is the song the world has been wanting from Justin Timberlake since he first announced his comeback a few weeks ago. Though his sepia-tinged performance at the Grammys of new tracks “Suit & Tie” and “Pusher Love Girl” was a joy to watch and hear, they aren’t songs to get particularly enthused about. The Motown inspirations and “Rat Pack in Vegas” stylings are very accomplished throwbacks destined to fill the dancefloors of formals and weddings for months to come, but they fall a little flat on their own. “Mirrors”, though, points to the kind of expansive mid-tempo ballad that found fine expression in “Until the End of Time” on FutureSex/LoveSounds.
“Mirrors” also shares similarities with the break-up missives “Cry Me a River” and “What Goes Around… Comes Around” with its mix of a beatboxed rhythm and tight string arrangements, but it’s completely geared for an arena-sized, love-conquers-all message: opening with a swelling organ and electric guitar and featuring multi-tracked vocals that sound like a crowd or choir singing behind him. The bridge before the final chorus crescendo – “Yesterday is histor, Tomorrow is a mystery” – really captures Timberlake’s satisfyingly huge and suitably vague emotive leaps, and the segue into second half of the track is perfect: breaking all the straining emotion into a slow chant and an easy falsetto, allowing Timbaland the space for some flourishes and flashes to drive the song home.
Speaking about The 20/20 Experience in a Rolling Stone Q&A with a couple of high schoolers enrolled in a music industry program, Justin Timberlake revealed that: “the average length of each song is seven, eight minutes […] It’s not so much a narrative or a story, but sonically we really made it to listen from top to bottom”. The belting Mirrors is the clearest example of this ambition so far, and really raises hopes that the new album will be vintage JT – rather than simply vintage.