"Congratulations," Justin Timberlake, says Hampton Stevens in The Atlantic. "We get it. You are a good actor." You're convincing as the voice of Boo-Boo in the new Yogi Bear movie, and got "raves" for your performance as Facebook adviser Sean Parker in The Social Network. But you are also, first and foremost, a singer. And in January, you turn 30 — which in pop-music terms, puts you "somewhere between elder statesman and dead." Without practice, writes Stevens, your voice will lose its range, your tone will go "cloudy." It has been five years since you recorded FutureSex — why not do fans a favor and "make just one more album?" Here, an excerpt:
Right now — no matter what Kayne says — you're still the man. You are, arguably, the Coolest Guy on Earth. At this moment in pop culture, you have the chance to do something extraordinary — something only a very few people are ever privileged enough to experience. You can be heard. You have the world's ear — a few precious seconds where the whole planet cares what you have to say. Do you really want to spend those precious seconds doing cartoon voices?
Cool is fragile and time flies. Go, make your movies. Get that Oscar. Stick it on a shelf with your Grammys and Emmy. Before you blink, though, you'll be 40, and bored on movie sets. The lead roles will be drying up — although you will be contractually obligated to appear in Shrek 47: The Abomination. ... You will remember the thrill you once got from singing for a live audience, instead of just talking in front of a camera. You will remember how music moves people — including yourself — in a way that nothing else can.
By then, though, it will be too late.
Read the full article in The Atlantic.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- What I learned from totally unplugging and shutting up for three days
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
- 10 burning questions you've always wanted to ask about investing
Subscribe to the Week