Thursday, February 7, 2008

"Lovestoned" Justin Timberlake

Lovestoned is an ode to a sexually attractive woman who is both under the influence of an intoxicating substance and an intoxicating substance herself.

The setting is a crowded night club. The sputtering beatbox backing vocals indicate that there is a lot of activity and the ambient noise of sexually-charged patter filling the room. Our protagonist, Justin Timberlake, has set his sights on a particular woman who is dancing. The first thing he notices about her is the way she “grabs the yellow bottle*/she likes the way it hits her lips.” Then he notices that the substance has an affect on her. “It sends her on a trip so right/She might be going home with me tonight.” Only then does he describe the way she looks: “like a model/except she’s got a little more ass.” It seems that her intoxication is what has gotten his attention. Perhaps Justin is unsure of his own charms and is hoping that her state of intoxication will make her more agreeable to his sexual advances. Or maybe the “yellow bottle” is serving here as a phallus in her hands and in her mouth. Doubt creeps in as Justin admits to himself that he might not attain her unless he’s “got that thing she likes.” Money? Drugs? Proficient dance moves? A large penis? “I hope she’s going home with me tonight.” Justin is now “lovestoned.” “Flashing lights” are disorienting him and he is focused on this girl and only her. “I think that she knows” he tells us. He seems to know he is giving himself away by staring at her. He is also aware that other men are staring at her too. (At this point, one can’t help but appreciate the irony of Justin Timberlake, a very successful and sexually attractive pop star at the height of his powers having to compete for the attention of a drunk girl in a club. In real life, if Justin were to enter a nightclub, he’d be mobbed by sexually available fans.)

Justin’s confidence rises when realizes that the object of his desire only wants “to dance.” This means that once she sees his “moves” she is definitely “going home with [him] tonight.” An instumental interlude occurs that signifies that the dance, a mating ritual, has begun. The tenor of the song changes entirely much like the moment in “West Side Story” where Tony and Maria meet at the dance the world around them disappears. The sputtering beatbox vocals give way to a more lyrical, instrumental accompaniment. In the video for this song, the visuals change as well. The first part was a composition in blue distortion, the second part in high definition white. Maybe the lovers are having a moment. Maybe the drugs have kicked in. The chorus is sung again, but in a completely different tenor and now Justin is walking around “without a care.” Justin is lovestoned and “she knows.”

*I must confess that I do not know what a “yellow bottle” is. If anyone knows what this means, please email me. For now, I’m assuming it’s a bottle of Corona Beer.

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