TGJ Replay: Justin Timberlake’s ‘Justified’

Published: Tuesday 19th Mar 2013 by Rashad

Much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ segments, readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past.  So in a quest to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday we introduced a new retrospective segment – ‘TGJ Replay’.

Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase albums (and eras) from a library of pop music hits.  Today, as fans are celebrating the release of his third solo album, we found it only fitting to ode the genesis of Justin Timberlake‘s solo career – ‘Justified’:

Like idol Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake rose to fame on the hems of a top-selling group that dominated hearts and charts during its tenure.  But, also like Jackson, Timberlake seemed poised – even from the group’s very beginning – to eventually launch into a solo career as he was undoubtedly the fivesome’s focal point.

After two record breaking albums with group NSYNC, Timberlake shocked absolutely no one fans with news that he would be tackling the task of crafting a release by his lonesome.  Perfect timing given the height of his social profile at the time (due to breakup with beauty Britney Spears), the world was more interested than ever to hear what he had to say.

The incident would later prove to be inspiration for a number of the tracks on his debut offering christened ‘Justified’.  Helmed by the day’s top urban producers Scott Storch, Timbaland, and The Neptunes (Pharrell), Timberlake crafted what some would believe to be a very risky album given his pop-dominated resume.

But, the risk paid off as soon as fans got their first listen of the album’s lead single ‘Like I Love You’

‘Like I Love You’ ft. Clipse

Kicking off a critically-acclaimed set, the song is considered one of many standouts on the album.  But, if ‘Like I Love You’ tested the waters, the Timbaland-produced follow-up single ‘Cry Me A River’ clearly made the splash.  A direct jab at the demise of he and Spears’ relationship, fans were definitely abuzz at the song and accompanying visual:

‘Cry Me A River’

By the time ‘River’ rose to the top of pop and R&B charts, ‘Justified’ was a certified smash.  Eventually going on to sell 7 million copies worldwide, the album cemented Timberlake’s place as a frontrunner in modern pop and justified his sexy symbol status as well. 

Crossing the bridge so few teen stars successfully traipse from teenybopper into respected adult artist, tracks like ‘Senorita’ and ‘Rock Your Body’ would be the first of  many tunes the ‘Take It From Here’ hitmaker would use to demonstrate his growth and the versatility of his music offerings…

‘Rock Your Body’

Indeed, the pop pin-up would be one of the genre’s few acts to successfully merge style and substance.  Even a decade from its release, the crooner continues to show off that signature falsetto that has lead him to be one of music’s most sought after acts – on and off stage.

Soul Train Awards Medley

With ‘The 20/20 Experience’ lending new sights and sounds to Timberlake’s ever-impressive catalog, we can’t help but still bump ‘Justified’ – one of the decade’s most solid R&B offerings.  Weigh in below and tell us what’s your favorite track from the album.  Here’s ours:

‘Still On My Brain’



Your thoughts?

Comments 23

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  1. NT March 19, 2013

    I remember when i first got this album , and i played it ALL THE TIME. This Justin >>> 20/20 Experience Justin

  2. DOSSOME March 19, 2013

    Although i prefer Future S**/LoveSounds to Justified…its commendable that he took a solo career with material completely different from what he did with NSYNC..Senorita was my favorite off this album

  3. King B>Rihanna March 19, 2013

    His best album to date.

    • King B>Rihanna March 19, 2013

      wait took it for the wrong album FS/LS is by far his best album

  4. Late March 19, 2013

    As always, this site has one or two inaccuracies in its stories.
    *NSYNC put out THREE CDs before Justified came out. The first was their self titled cd, the second one
    Was the groundbreaking No Strings Attached, and the third was Celebrity.

    A simple Wikipedia check would have cleared that up!

    • Jamie March 19, 2013

      Whilst I agree there are often inaccuracies, have you read the statement?….

      “After two RECORD BREAKING albums with *NSYNC”

      Was the *NSYNC album record breaking? If not, then the statement is correct.

      Also you’re own statement has inaccuracies as they may have only released 3 Studio albums, they actually released FOUR albums worldwide whilst the band were still together not 3 CD’s as you state – with their “Home for Christmas” album…. plus if you count their limited German release “The Winter Album” that’s FIVE.

      Then if you really want to be pedantic there’s 2 post group split compilations which makes SEVEN. Perhaps before you comment you should double check.

      A simple Wikipedia check would have cleared that up!!!!

  5. Mark111 March 19, 2013

    FS/LS was what got me into him, I felt he was trying too hard on this one and I hated pop music back then cause I felt it was just a rip off of what the R&B artist was doing. We had Aaliyah, Brandy and Monica, they later got Briney, CA and Jessica Simpson. We had Boys 2 Men, they later got BackStreetBoys, we had Usher, they later got JT, see where I’m going? It wasn’t till JT’s FS/LS and Rihanna GGGB that burred the lines and now everyone is everywhere. (A good thing imo)

    • DOSSOME March 19, 2013

      We also had New Edition,they got NKOTB..they practically been taking what we start,give it a white face then pump $$$$$$$ into it

  6. king z March 19, 2013

    @ LATE
    nsync put out three cds but only two of them were record breaking. a simple wikipedia check and use of comprehension skill woulda cleared that up

  7. Matthew Charlery-Smith March 19, 2013

    I didn’t really like this album. From what I understand the trakcs were MJ rejects. The songs were OK, but it was too gimmicky and not didn’t develop a solid MUSICAL identity for him, instead he took radio friendly hits. “Last Night” was great.

    It’s amazing how JT and Beyonce eclipsed members JC Chasez and Kelly Rowland. Upon listening to their debut albums the latter two’s efforts were FAR more impressive.

    JC’s voice shuts down every male singer and the compositions and engineering. Kelly is amazing and also had amazingly well structured songs on her album, great musicianship and vocal arrangements.

  8. MISHKA March 19, 2013

    I’ll go for “Rock Your body” , that was the birth of Justin’s signature sound, some kind of “funky R’n’Pop” we also find in “SexyBack”, “My Love” and “Lovestoned” …

    “Cry Me A River”‘s construction always makes me think of Aaliyah. I still think Timbo created the beats for her.

    His best song overall is still “What goes around comes around”, that was the Timberlake/Timbaland combo at its best. Still fire!

  9. the real xoxo March 19, 2013

    People blame his skin colour entirely for his success.
    The reason Usher, JT etc sold alot is because they made music for both GUYS and GIRLS. the teeny boppers today just make music that nobody over the age of 18 can appreciate.

  10. Late March 19, 2013

    You clearly didn’t take my advice and Wikipedia the facts.
    Their first and second cd both went diamond in the U.S. and their third album, though not as major saleswise still sold
    quite a bit.
    From the Celebrity wiki page:

    “The album sold 1,879,955 copies in its first week,[10] making it the second best in SoundScan history, only behind ‘N Sync’s previous album, No Strings Attached. Although it was outnumbered by its predecessor, Celebrity still managed to gain the second-best debut-week sales since SoundScan began monitoring record retailers in 1991”

    Which cd wasn’t record breaking?

    • king z March 19, 2013

      and you clearly did NOT utilize the comprehension skills I previously advised you to use.

      your quote from wikipedia just proved MY point. if “no strings attached” and “celebrity” have the TWO BEST FIRST WEEK SALES OF ANY ALBUM IN HISTORY – that is a RECORD.

      if the first album only went diamond (like sooo many other albums have), that is not a RECORD.

      so the FIRST cd is the one that is NOT record breaking. three albums total – two are record breaking/setting

  11. Late March 19, 2013

    Diamond sales aren’t groundbreaking?
    How many pop male groups went diamond on their first cd release?
    He’ll, how many album in the late 90’s went diamond period?

    When you say soo many albums went diamond, how many of those were debuts? Furthermore, if soo many have gone diamond, name 20 within the last 15 years that have. You say it like achieving diamond status on your debit cd is not a big feat. 98 degrees’ first cd didn’t go diamond, but I’m sure you’ll be able to wiki that as well.

    • king z March 19, 2013

      i respect your opinion and we can argue until the cows come home, so i’ll just say this and be done.

      RECORD BREAKING and GROUNDBREAKING are not synonymous. an album can be groundbreaking that is not recordbreaking and a record-breaking album doesn’t have to be groundbreaking.

      yes diamond-selling records are big feats, but during 1998-2004, there were a number of artists who achieved such feat.

  12. DAVID March 19, 2013


    People still blame J.T and his SKIN COLOUR for his success!!!

    Hmmm… Maybe he should give Robin Thicke, Samuel Knowles, Daley, Joey Cane and numerous other “WHITE “POP/BLUE-EYES SOUL ARTISTS” a call and tell them what it is they’re doing wrong.

    I’m White… & personally, I’m sick and tired of that ‘Colourism’ b******* – not EVERYTHING is based on skin colour.

    Anyway, cool album dude!

  13. DAVID March 19, 2013


    U gotta let em’ know Dude!

  14. Late March 19, 2013

    I respect your points and opinions as well. I guess we will just agree to disagree on this particular subject lol

  15. Suicide Blonde March 19, 2013

    “FutureSex/loveSounds” is his best album, this was a good album to debut but i feel like his second album really marks his brand and his personality.

  16. JOHNVIDAL March 19, 2013

    Only 7 million copies worldwide? With all the hype around him and in the early 00´s when sales were still high? Not too good. Anyway, there´s a reason, people didn´t take him seriously at that point
    I really prefer nowadays Justin Timberlake. It was with his second solo album when he got respect. And this 3rd one (The 20/20 experience) is definitely better than the first one too. Except for Cry me a River there´s nothing great on that album

  17. Jack March 21, 2013

    Still play this album! My favorite song is ‘(Oh no) What you got’. That song would make such a hot video with the JT of back then.

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