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Everything we thought it was

Everything we thought it was

Justin Timberlake released his sixth studio album, “Everything I Thought It Was” (EITIW) on March 15th, 2024. The album focuses on Justin Timberlake’s music identity, reflecting on himself throughout the project. “EITIW” had taken four years to produce and collaborated with eight different producers, including big names like Calvin Harris, Timbaland and *NSYNC who had worked with Timberlake on other projects.

“EITIW” takes elements, like syncopation, from his past albums like “FutureSex/LoveSounds”. This is represented in the third track of the album, “No Angels”, where he combines the bass line with the initial drum beat in a rhythm while simultaneously layering the guitar and vocals in a hemiola pattern to create a dance-like theme. This pattern is also used in the intro of “My Love” and parts of “LoveStoned” on “FutureSex/LoveSounds”.

Timberlake also utilizes differences in volume to help transition the song, in the intro to “No Angels” the drum beat is initially muffled, but after a chromatic slide from a synthesizer, the drums are put at their normal volume to make the viewer feel as if they just walked into a building. This combination is repeated throughout the song between the pre-chorus and the chorus to show shifts in lyrical tone.

The writing consists of many different topics, but a topic that remains throughout the album is reflection and expectation. From the first track, “Memphis” Timberlake writes about how he sees his reflection in the Mississippi River and that it was everything he thought it was, and he takes off with the idea that you can only be what you think you are. This idea comes back in different songs on the record like “Paradise (ft. *NSYNC)”, “Sanctified (feat. Tobe Nwigwe)” and “Imagination”.

Timberlake primarily connects emotion to his audience with imagery, in his favorite track, “Technicolor”, he takes the listener to an outer space-like setting with metaphorical writing, “Don’t let these colors on you go to waste, come closer and let me take up all your space, let’s connect to outer space.” Throughout this song, he makes connections with color and its vividness, stating that his love for another is perfect and loves every shade. These lyrical connections with the slowed reverberated notes create the perfect atmosphere for his audience.

In conclusion, EITIW utilizes past rhythms and metaphorical imagery to relay emotion between different tracks. When compared to his other studio albums the work is similar, but not to the same level. There were several moments throughout different tracks where there wasn’t enough intensity, and that one change could transform the piece into something bigger. Overall, EITIW is a great record released at the beginning of 2024 with many transformative moments.

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About the Contributor
Miles Constantino ’25
Miles Constantino ’25, Staff Writer
If anyone knows music, it's Miles Constantino “25. Composing in his spare time, Constantino takes to the stage with his pop music inspired by Imagine Dragons and Macklemore. But his talent doesn't stop in the writers room, it extends to his performance as well in both guitar and viola. Constantino also actively works towards sharpening his intellectual prowess, co-running the Chess Club, taking his love of the clever game a step further. Constantino is already strategizing on how to better the state of journalism during his first year on The Tower Newspaper. “In the (past few) years, I’ve noticed that journalism is really poor,” said Constantino. “There’s a lot of ways you can interpret something in a specific way to alter the story without directly misleading people.”

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