Friday, August 3, 2007

Justin Timberlake = Pablo Picasso?

*** By DB (Chicago) ***
He's got a lot of fans, most of whom are post-adolescent Myspacer girls. But the admiration he receives from throngs of teenyboppers is nothing compared to how highly Justin Timberlake regards himself. I once heard the guy in an interview talking about one of his pop songs ‘Cry Me a River’, saying that there is so much going on in the song that "it's like a Picasso". I'd be willing to bet $1000 that Mr. Timberlake wouldn't be able to pick a Picasso out of a lineup of assorted paintings.

Nonetheless Timberlake apparently fancies himself as an analytic cubist among recording artists. It's worth mentioning that Picasso's cubism inspired related movements in music. For example there is jazz music out there that has been regarded as being musically analogous to cubism, utilizing fragmented arrangements, geometric chord progressions and multiple perspectives of the same material. The idea is to get into the spirit of deconstructive reconstruction, building tunes and solos out of small blocks. ‘Sexy Back’ might be catchy and danceable, but it's hardly avant garde.

For Timberlake to liken ‘Cry Me a River’ to a Picasso because of its poppy, polished, cluttered, and muddy composition with "a lot going on in it" is, in my not-so-humble opinion, more than just a bit misguided. Perhaps a more apt comparison in the world of visual arts would be one of those ‘Where's Waldo’ cartoons.

Ahh, Justin Timberlake... one of the great virtuosos of the 21st century... a bohemian visionary trapped in a plastic world.

No comments: