Cry me a river: An open letter to Justin Timberlake

Where has all the music gone?

November 15, 2011

Dear Justin,


Can we call you Justin? We may not be on a first-name basis just yet, but you've always made us feel so at ease that we just can't help but ... OK, Justin it is. Anyway, we've been meaning to bring this up for a while, but we thought you might figure it out on your own. It's OK, because we know you can't read our minds, even though we're pretty sure you can read our hearts.

At this point, you're probably wondering a) Whether we can see into your bedroom and b) What the hell is going on here. In regards to a), we wish. But this letter isn't about that. It's about the music, Justin. Those sweet, sweet beats that rocked our bodies and brought sexy back. It's been five cold, hollow years since "Future Sex/Love Sounds," and we're starting a to feel a little neglected.

We know we're not the only ones. Our favorite be-sweatered Canadian, Drake, told Billboard that you broke his fuzzy little man-heart when you didn't have time to appear on his album. Apparently you teased him (and us), saying "we'll work as soon as I'm back in the studio." When will that be, Justin? When?

We get it, this whole movie-star thing is going great for you. And admittedly, three major flicks in one year is pretty impressive, especially when the roles are as varied as mega-nerd Scott Delacorte in "Bad Teacher," benefited-friend Dylan in "Friends With Benefits" and time-bending scrub Will Salas in "In Time." But, and we're going to say this in really tiny type so as not to offend you, you're not going to win an Oscar. You know what you can win? Grammys! You've already got six of them!

Woven amid the action scenes and on-screen romances are hints that even you are missing the former 'NSyncer inside. In "Friends With Benefits," you popped out a Kriss Kross routine to woo Mila Kunis, and even sang Semisonic's "Closing Time" while giving her ladypleasures. Justin, your music is better than that, even if those tunes were enough to whip Mila into a lusty frenzy.

And she's not alone. According to a recent poll conducted by us watching a YouTube video of your "History of Rap" performance on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," scores of screaming Americans just cannot get enough of the sight of a mic in your hand. Imagine what could happen if you were spitting your own rhymes instead of Missy Elliott's.

You may be thinking at this point: "Justin Bieber has the market cornered on pop stars these days." You must be joking. The only thing you and that 17-year-old have in common is the "Justin." We need a man--the kind of man who can design a clothing line, dance around on "SNL" in an omelet costume AND expose Janet Jackson's right nipple to the entire Western Hemisphere--not a little boy whose voice has got to be medically enhanced from dropping to a lower octave. Also, the Jonas Brothers may be getting back together, which kinda makes us want to vom.

So please, Justin, for the sake of our R&B/pop-crazed eardrums, drop the movie scripts, pick up your swagger and get back on that stage. In exchange, we promise never to bring up that time you and Britney Spears wore matching denim outfits ever again.

Love,


Dana Moran, RedEye

damoran@tribune.com | @redeyedana

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