Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl halftime program was devoted, and empty: EW evaluation

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We provided it a C

Justin Timberlake has a history of being upstaged throughout Super Bowl Halftime reveals. In 2001, the cumulative star power of NSYNC and Aerosmith looked shrimpy beside last-minute cameos by Mary J. Blige and Britney Spears’ arm-sock. In 2004, Timberlake himself was the guest-star, signing up with Janet Jackson onstage, rocking saggy khakis and the last puke-green t-shirt ever seen in public after1995 He beatboxed, then some more things occurred– and the Cloverfield ian conspiracy theories about Timberlake’s function in “Nipplegate” are significantly more fascinating than the real recorded efficiency of “Rock Your Body.”

I’m being harsh to be kind here. And, appearance, we need to all be so fortunate regarding get eclipsed at the Super Bowl two times. Twenty years of zeitgeist later on, Timberlake has actually kept some middle foreground area in popular culture and is the type of babyfaced legend who has actually currently won MTV’s Vanguard award. The assortment he carried out at the Super Bowl on Sunday was less conclusive than the energetic, limitless profession retrospective he staged a couple of years earlier at the VMAs. He commemorated his history, and evaded it. There was “SexyBack” and “Rock Your Body” from long earlier, “Mirrors” from a more current long earlier, a track off the brand-new album, a duet-from-beyond with Prince. There was no Janet Jackson, which would have been mindblowing, and no NSYNC, which would have been as profound/depressing as a 4th Before Sunrise film. He was the only living star entertainer onstage, though to me he felt buried. Start with the clothing: His clothing was a disaster of stylistic intents and looked like that time on Friends when Joey used all Chandler’s clothing. I think the appearance was “Cowboy Hipster Chic,” though it looked particularly like Madonna’s cowgirl stage had an infant with Chris Martin’s French Revolution stage.

RELATED VIDEO: Janet Jackson’s Family Hasn’t Forgiven Justin Timberlake for Infamous Super Bowl Performance

“Haters gonna say it’s fake,” Timberlake stated, among the couple of lines I captured through the audio fuzz. That’s a line from “Filthy,” and perhaps a pre-emptive strike versus criticism. The very first half of his efficiency did feel phony. The weirdest aspect of Timberlake is that he can plainly do the standard things that numerous pop stars can not– sing, dance, look unwinded mid-overexertion– and my preferred part of the entire efficiency was when he sing-dance-walked around the circular phase. You primarily might feel how terribly he desires to complete with the synthboppers, a genuine kid who desires to be a puppet. Then we lost him in the middle of the laser-hurricanes, running from one fancy set to another. At one point, he danced in front of great deals of huge TELEVISION sets, and fire illuminated on the screens: The pyrotechnics were, actually, flat.

There was something too devoted here. It felt a bit like recently’s State of the Union, where you felt that the main objective declaration was to avoid outrage. I believed it was electrical when Timberlake danced on the NFL guard, and you might strive to scan some much deeper significance in his kneeling choreography. He carried out “Rock Your Body” however never ever rather got to the part about having you naked by the end of this tune– an undetectable tribute to Jackson that likewise seemed like an act of revisionism, even erasure. (And it ends up that “Rock Your Body” is 22.7% lamer without that lyric.) The Prince tribute was genuine, whatever your ideas on the weirdness of posthumous duets. Here once again, Timberlake was upstaged: The cut to Minneapolis lit up Prince-ly purple was more stimulating than anything occurring on the field.

I’m unsure the medley-mashup structure of the Halftime Show played to Timberlake’s strengths. You desired him to absolutely no in on a single tune, make a single minute, and rather we got outfit modifications: A coat for “Suit & Tie,” many mirrors for “Mirrors.” He concluded with that epidemically appealing Trolls tune, and dutifully raced into the represent a devoted selfie. He played it too safe; he took Sexy away. C

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