When Justin Timberlake released his first song from the upcoming second half of The 20/20 Experience, the title, "Take Back the Night," was a little disconcerting. Sure, the song was a funky, upbeat dance track that sounded like an outtake from Off the Wall, but we had to wonder whether the singer was completely unaware of the phrase's decades-long association with worldwide protests against sexual assault. Apparently, it was a glaring oversight on the part of Timberlake and those within his circle; he acknowledged the song title as a "coincidence," and said he hopes it "will bring more awareness to [the] cause."
Oddly named song title aside, Timberlake has continued his "Take Back the Night" push with an accompanying video. It starts off promisingly enough: Timberlake channels Gene Kelly and Michael Jackson while grooving on a Chinatown sidewalk. It's JT at his musical best, dancing and having fun; it lacks the silly pretentiousness of the artsy spectacle that is "Tunnel Vision" (in which, for whatever reason, naked models pose and "dance" awkwardly through shadows imposed on the singer's face).
Beyond that, though, the video for "Take Back the Night" is rather static, and adds little visually to the music. (Unless you count his weirdly fascinating shirt, which makes him look like he's wearing a bulletproof vest.) Much like the song, which runs for nearly six fairly monotonous minutes, the video jumps right out at you and then just levels off. Once again, Timberlake has a good idea, and then he coasts, failing to mix things up.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Right Target
Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.
The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget
It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is
I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights
Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.
Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.
It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice
Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.
In Defense of HR
Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.