Justin Timberlake has released his new single and video, ‘Selfish’

Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake

As expected, Justin Timberlake has released his new single and video, “Selfish,” which continues the buildup to his first album in five years, Everything I Thought It Was.

“Selfish,” which debuted at a special concert in Timberlake’s hometown of Memphis last week, was written by the singer, Louis Bell (Taylor Swift, Post Malone), Cirkut (Maroon 5, The Weeknd), Theron Thomas, and Amy Allen, and produced by Timberlake, Louis Bell, and Cirkut. Bradley J. Calder (SZA, Tinashe) directed the video.

The song is a midtempo, pulsing ballad with love-themed lyrics that could have been written much earlier in the 42-year-old singer’s career: “I want every bit of you; guess I’m selfish.” The video is self-deprecating, with an unshaven, T-shirt-wearing Timberlake becoming progressively irritated as he rehearses for a video shoot in a vast studio. It gets surreal when he climbs into a bizarre, miniature, strangely long room with a red telephone at the end, which he eventually reaches—aand then returns to the studio, smashing the miniature set with his foot from the outside (possibly an oblique reference to the cover of his 2006 smash album “FutureSex/LoveSounds,” which featured him smashing a disco ball with his foot). The clip ends with him performing the song in a stylish suit with great dance moves.

Timberlake’s campaign continues in surprisingly traditional fashion, with appearances on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” tonight (Jan. 25) and “Saturday Night Live” this Saturday, as well as a special free concert at New York’s Irving Plaza next week—aall of which he has done frequently before. The two NBC shows have long been outlets for the artist, and he has a long-standing friendship with Fallon in particular.

However, the singer has maintained a quiet profile in recent years, notably following the lackluster reception to his 2018 album “Man of the Woods.” In those years, he has primarily returned for songs on the soundtracks of the “Trolls” films, including “The Other Side” with SZA, released in 2020 just before the pandemic, and late last year with ‘Better Place,’ which saw him reunite with NSYNC, the boy band that propelled him to stardom in the 1990s. While the song hinted at a full reunion (the group appears in the film in animated form), he appeared to be aiming for a full solo return instead.

Last April, his longtime musical collaborator Timbaland announced the next album to Variety, describing it as a return to the “fun Justin” of “FutureSex/LoveSounds” after the considerably more serious “Man of the Woods.”

“It’s fun, Justin,” he said. “It’s like ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds,’ but nothing too serious; just what you’d expect from us: not overthought, the words aren’t too deep, and it’s bob-your-head, dance-to music. Music is a young sport, and it must remain both fun and young. We’ve both been through a lot in life, but you can’t overthink things; you have to bring out the 13-year-old and 18-year-old again, you know? If not, you can quickly reach the old-fogey stage. (Laughter) That is simply the world we live in.

So you have to know how to be honest, faithful to the art, and comprehend it, which is what this record is about,” he said. We took our time. We had songs that were potentially too complicated, but we said, “We want it to feel like ‘FutureSex’ part two,” so we chose songs that would fit that.

Justin Timberlake – Selfish (Official Video)

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