Last month, after Justin Timberlake debuted “Mirrors,” the second single off his new album, The 20/20 Experience, we wondered whether he had created the most narcissistic love song ever. Now that the singer has released the accompanying video, a tribute to his grandparents and their 63-year marriage, I’m inclined to say, maybe not?
As an imaginative depiction of William and Sadie’s decades-long relationship, “Mirrors” features three separate couples in different stages of love—the whirlwind courtship, the difficulties of marriage, and the later years of togetherness. In fact, Timberlake is nowhere to be seen until the final two minutes, when he catches a falling ring from the woman playing his grandmother and performs a solo dance in a funhouse hall of mirrors.
The result is a video that blunts the seeming self-indulgence of the song’s lyrics (“And if I could, I would look at us all the time,” etc.) and actually adds a new layer to the song with a visually striking and evocative story.