If I had to describe the sound I’d say this is what would happen if Justin Timberlake and James Blake had a baby. And then Timbaland came along and gave it a blessing. It’s a gurgling stew of synth and R&B and jazz and trip hop. It’s everything I want Justin Timberlake’s new album to sound like except Autre Ne Veut beat him to it.
The song “Counting” will surely be in the running for one of my favorite tracks of the year. If I had my own planet I’d make every single inhabitant speak with this falsetto:
“Everything you say is breaking up/ This is not a time for this to stop”, he sings on “Counting”. “I’m counting on the idea that you’ll stay.” Was the song penned during the traumatic, heaving final days of a romantic relationship? Nope: these are lyrics about calling his dying grandmother, as Ashin told me in a recent interview. “Counting” pairs an earnest falsetto with a lush groove that would not be out of place on a Pure Moods compilation, and the results are pure catharsis for any type of death– romantic, or otherwise.