Justin Timberlake’s new single ‘Drown’ is a failed rescue attempt


It’s never a good sign when a pop superstar like Justin Timberlake moves on from the first single to the second one within less than a month.

Especially when you’re launching a critical comeback attempt like “Everything I Thought It Was” — his first album since 2018’s “Man in the Woods” — which arrives on March 15.

But “Selfish,” despite its smooth midtempo groove and all of JT’s falsetto feels, barely cracked the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. Just four weeks after its release, the much-anticipated single currently stands at a very unsexy No. 37.  

Justin Timberlake performed “Selfish” as the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” on Jan. 27. YouTube/Saturday Night Live

Of course, “Selfish” had to contend with backlash from the Britney Army — who, out of spite for Timberlake’s perceived transgressions against his ex Britney Spears, streamed her same-named song from the deluxe edition of 2011’s “Femme Fatale.”

So “Drown” — which dropped on Friday — comes as a bit of a rescue attempt.

And the song — which re-teams Timberlake with “Selfish” producers Cirkut (The Weeknd) and Louis Bell (Justin Bieber) — harks back to familiar heartbreak territory. 

Think the Britney-bashing “Cry Me a River” or its 2006 sequel, “What Goes Around…Comes Around.”

Except it’s just not as good.

“Everything I Thought It Was” — Justin Timberlake’s sixth solo studio album and first since 2018 — arrives on March 15. ICON

Once again, Timberlake wants you to cry him a river: “You showed me exactly who you are and I should’ve believed it/You left me alone out in the dark with all of your demons/Got caught up in the tide of all the tears you cried/Yеah, you know I was blinded by my heart, sinking from the start/Should’vе never followed you this far, now I’m in the deep end/And you let me drown.”

Fair or not, playing the victim is a hard sell for Timberlake right now.

Justin Timberlake re-teams with “Selfish” producers Cirkut and Louis Bell on his new single “Drown.”

And the Timbaland-esque beats that once sounded so futuristic now feel kinda formulaic.

But “Selfish” felt far fresher, so there is still hope for Timberlake yet on “Everything I Thought It Was.”

And hey, if all else fails, the 43-year-old boy-band alum can always fall back on the full-on *NSYNC reunion that everyone wants from him anyway.


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