The Bottom Line
The attention focused on whether Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around..." is about his ex-girlfriend Britney Spears threatens to obscure the fact that this is one of the most gorgeous pop melodies of the year. The intimate strings and circular sounding production that match the elliptical nature of the lyrics cause the melody to linger long in the memory.
- Gorgeous melody
- Plucked string intro
- Hypnotic feel
- Cautionary tale in the lyrics
- Nothing amiss here
- Beautiful string-based arrangement
- Engaging chorus
- Gentle, midtempo beat
Guide Review - Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around...
With the release of "What Goes Around...," Justin Timberlake has reeled off the most impressive series of 3 pop singles (including "SexyBack" and "My Love") in years. This change of pace from 2 uptempo dance-pop hits to a reflective, midtempo ballad should hold the interest of both pop radio and pop music fans. A third #1 single from FutureSex / LoveSounds is not out of the question.
The gorgeous plucked string intro and overall clean production proves that Justin Timberlake's producer Timbaland does not need to rely on human beatbox sounds or futuristic noises to put together a stunning recording. Economy is the key word for the sound of "What Goes Around..."
After hearing the lyrics, many fans and critics alike insist that "What Goes Around..." is another song, following "Cry Me a River," about Justin Timberlake's former relationship with Britney Spears. For his part, Justin has insisted that the song is not about Britney, but he has been coy on revealing who is the song's inspiration. Regardless of the source material, the lyrics carry a distinctive barb warning those who may hurt another in a romantic relationship. Sooner or later, the pain comes home to roost. If you have down moments in a relationship, carry "What Goes Around..." along to reassure yourself that you are not alone...and the source of your pain will hurt as well...sooner or later.