Studio album by Justin Timberlake
Released September 12, 2006 (2006-09-12)
Recorded November 2005–June 2006
Thomas Crown Studios
(Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Genre R&B, pop
Length 66:16
Label Jive
Producer Danja, Jawbreakers, Rick Rubin, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake chronology
Singles from FutureSex/LoveSounds
  1. "SexyBack"
    Released: July 7, 2006
  2. "My Love"
    Released: September 12, 2006
  3. "What Goes Around... Comes Around"
    Released: February 26, 2007
  4. "LoveStoned"
    Released: July 2, 2007
  5. "Until the End of Time"
    Released: November 13, 2007
  6. "Summer Love"
    Released: December 7, 2007

FutureSex/LoveSounds is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake, released by Jive Records on September 12, 2006. After a two-year hiatus during when Timberlake felt unable to record new songs, he returned to collaborating with record producer Timbaland. Along with the latter's protégé, Danja, the three mainly wrote FutureSex/LoveSounds and much of the album's contents were produced in Timbaland's Thomas Crown Studios.

Although it shares lyrical themes with Timberlake's debut album, Justified, FutureSex/LoveSounds is much more diverse in its music. It infuses R&B and pop with techno, funk, and elements of rock, the last being the genre that was the main inspiration of Timberlake during the album's creation. The reprises and interludes interspersed on the album's tracklist were an attempt by the production team at channeling Timberlake's influences which include David Bowie and Prince.

FutureSex/LoveSounds was released to generally positive reviews, in which most critics noted the influences in the album and its collection of eclectic sounds. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album at number 46 on its list of the best albums of the 2000s, and aside from earning numerous best-of lists, FutureSex/LoveSounds was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2007 Grammy Awards. Certified multi-platinum in many countries worldwide, the album has sold more than ten million copies, four million of its sales are accounted in the United States alone.




While in hiatus, Timberlake immersed himself into non-musical activities.

In 2002, Timberlake released his debut album, Justified, during the hiatus of American boyband 'N Sync. The album spawned the US top-five hit "Rock Your Body" and top-three single "Cry Me a River". The latter's release was accompanied by a music video that features a woman resembling pop contemporary Britney Spears, with whom Timberlake concluded a three-year romantic relationship. "Cry Me a River" has been credited for having helped the album sell and peak onto music charts.[1] Justified sold up to four million copies in the United States alone.[1] Although the album established his career outside his then-band 'N Sync,[2] Timberlake, who was then 22 years old, was "at a crossroads" and felt he was at the stage of being "burnt out",[1][3] and thought he had lost his voice "in regards to knowing what (and how) he wanted to sing".[3] Timberlake stated that Justified had been decades in the making, and a record that would re-create its success would be a challenge he was not ready to take.[4]

In the following two years, Timberlake went partially idle in the recording industry.[1] His being burnt out partly caused him to try acting in movies. In October 2003, he hosted and was the guest musician on the late-night variety show Saturday Night Live where he showcased his acting potentials. He also paired with American actor Jimmy Fallon on The Barry Gibb Talk Show. After the show, Timberlake was reportedly "inundated" with acting offers, which he readily accepted partly because he needed inspiration and did not want to pass up the opportunities.[1][5] Before returning to music, Timberlake shot four films, including Edison Force and Alpha Dog.[1] Timberlake brought guitar and keyboard with him, working on fragment of songs while in his trailer in between filming. But most of the time Timberlake took hiatus because he "needed time from touring and promoting".[4]

Timberlake opted not to pursue the reunion with 'N Sync which he considered after Justified. According to him, he was concerned with how they would reinvent their music.[6] In late 2004, Timberlake contacted record producers Rich Harrison, and Rodney Jerkins who had produced songs for 'N Sync. Both producers were "impressed" by the live band-driven late-night shows of Timberlake and they wanted to incorporate this style in his music.[7] Timberlake underwent a series of club shows, along with his arena tours, as a treat to his fans.[8]


We had no direction at all [...] other than 'Cry Me a River,' and not in the sense of mimicking the track, but in how big the song was. There was no direction for how he wanted the song to sound, because there was no direction for how he wanted [his album 'FutureSex/LoveSounds'] to sound.

—Danja, MTV News[9]

In 2005, Timberlake felt inspired to record songs again. Motivated by the "sad state" of pop radio, he decided he needed to experiment with music.[1] Reportedly, it was not until Timberlake turned to producer Timbaland "that he figured out the direction he wanted the record to take".[10] In November 2005, Timberlake visited Timbaland's brand-new Thomas Crown Studios in Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States. Timbaland had previusly collaborated with Timberlake, producing four tracks for Justified including "Cry Me a River".[5][1]

Once in the studio, however, the team had no clear direction for the album as there were no concepts being discussed.[9][11] Aside from having "Cry Me a River" to draw from, they had no "game plan" and no working title for the new album.[9] Timberlake thought that if he could make a record that would live up to Justified, he "would have".[3] So he asked Timbaland if he could reproduce the likes of "Cry Me a River" by four or six times.[12]

While in the studio, Timbaland played on the stereo plenty of songs by American singer and musician Prince for them to listen to. Early in their sessions, they reportedly were "fooling around" and "freestyling".[9] One night, Danja was playing a guitar riff and caught the attention of Timberlake, who then started humming to the melody and later sung the lyrics. Timbaland, who was at their side, added drums onto the progressing sound. After an hour, with no lyrics written on paper, Timberlake recorded in the vocal booth a song that would become "What Goes Around".[9] Timberlake, having been teased by Timbaland, said to the latter: "Let's do something we would never do. Let's go far left and just see what happens."[3]


Official production for FutureSex/LoveSounds started in December 2005. When production began, Jive Records Chairman and CEO, Barry Weiss, asked when the album would be completed, to which Timberlake replied that it could possibly take a year.[1] The title was not finalized until Jive Records gave Timberlake a deadline on finishing what would become FutureSex/LoveSounds.[13] The collective thought the album is comparable with Michael Jackson's landmark record, Thriller, dubbing their own as FS/LS Thriller 2006. Timberlake admitted he is a fan of Jackson and even name-drops the latter in the song "Chop Me Up".[6]

According to Timberlake, FutureSex/LoveSounds is like a "fashion editorial, YSL and Gucci suits, which goes with the sonics".[14] The album's artworks were shoot by American fashion photographer Terry Richardson.[14] The cover features Timberlake stomping a disco ball using his black pointy shoe.


Timbaland guested on several dates on Timberlake's 2007 FutureSex/LoveShow worldwide concert tour. Timbaland, his protégé Danja, and Timberlake wrote and produced a majority of tracks that appeared on the album.

For his new project, Timberlake collaborated with only few producers.[13] With no concrete plans, however, Timberlake's goal for the album was "'to capture moments' with a vivid, raw, off-the-cuff sound".[6] Timberlake, who included record production in his repertoire, managed the recording sessions with no formula.[13] His sessions with Timbaland and Danja were described as free-flowing, and he referred to themselves in the process as "looking like [mad men], a mad scientist".[3]

On his collaboration with Timbaland, Timberlake asserted that they "have a very interesting connection" in music.[13] In ten days, they composed at least eight to ten songs with the lyrics, melodies, and vocals all in place. In three weeks, after that transitional moment with "What Goes Around... Goes Around", the collective was able to produce songs like "My Love", "SexyBack", and "Sexy Ladies".[15] Unlike Justified which was recorded in six weeks, Timberlake said that FutureSex/LoveSounds took one year to complete.[14]

Sessions for the album also saw Timberlake collaborating with Rick Rubin and will.i.am, the latter himself a member of the hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas, whose 2003 single "Where Is the Love?" Timberlake lent vocals to. For the production, they are credited as Jawbreakers, a production team of their own established during their collaboration for The Black Eyed Peas' album.[13] Four songs were produced with will.i.am,[13] although only "Damn Girl" made it to the standard edition of the album.

Actor Chris Rock recommended producer Rubin to Timberlake, who considered the idea and discussed it with Rubin when he saw him at a music festival in Coachella, California.[4][14] Timberlake went to singer-songwriter Neil Diamond's studio, where Rubin played him some demos, one of which was a ballad that would become "(Another Song) All Over Again". Timberlake suggested that the collaboration was meant to "do the anti-whatever-you-want-to-call-it that [Timbaland and] I came up with".[6]

Music and influences

Prince performing in Brussels during the Hit N Run Tour in 1986. Eighties music of Prince heavily influenced FutureSex/LoveSounds.

During the production of FutureSex/LoveSounds, Timberlake was interested in rock music.[12] This inspiration was used in his approach in recording the songs, rather than in composing them. Timberlake reveals, "I wanted to sing the song like a rock and roll singer, not an R&B singer."[10] On the influences he drew from, he said that if Justified was "characterized" by Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, FutureSex/LoveSounds is more like David Bowie and Prince.[14] Other influences include late INXS-frontman Michael Hutchence,[6] Arcade Fire, David Byrne, The Killers, The Strokes, and Radiohead.[12]

Although Timberlake expressed interest in recording songs with rock influences, Timbaland was initially reluctant to pursue the idea because he was not accustomed to producing such music.[3] Nonetheless, he suggested that they could produce a handful, since they were afraid of alienating Timberlake's urban fan base.[3] Because of this concern, they produced several reprises, encores and preludes with a rock influence, instead of full-length songs.[3]

Trance music is played mostly in clubs. Producer Danja, in one of his visits to clubs, derived his idea for the album's musical direction by infusing R&B with trance.[11]

As to the sound of FutureSex/LoveSounds, "My Love", the second song composed, steered the album's direction. Danja revealed that it "changed the whole album",[11] and the energy derived from the song was sustained throughout the process. On his inspiration for the infusion of R&B with trance in the album, Danja remembers:

I heard dance and techno and was always interested in it but didn't really know where to go. But I went to a club one night and saw that people were losing their mind to these dance tracks. It wasn't really that I wanted to mimic that sound. I just wanted to have that energy and have people going crazy. So I knew the fusion was putting R&B with trance.[11]

Unlike his previous record that was intended to focus on R&B and pop genres,[3] FutureSex/LoveSounds is less concentrated on one particular sound,[4] thus representing a wider range. Timberlake explains, "It's more broad as far as the styles I wanted to mix in to my own type of thing."[4] A musically "complex" album, FutureSex/LoveSounds is a fusion of rap, rock, funk, soul, gospel, new wave, opera, and world music.[14] Entertainment Weekly noted that the album's sound is a "sonic departure" from both 'N Sync and Justified.[16] Although "What Goes Around" sounds similar to Justified, Timberlake admitted that it is the only song in the new album to have such similarity.[3]

Critics noted that the influences and styles are varied across the album's tracklist. The title track "FutureSex/LoveSounds" incorporates early 1980s new wave and industrial rock. The song "SexyLadies" takes on Minneapolis funk.[17] Another funk song on the album is the lead single "SexyBack", the style of which is described by Timberlake as "club funk".[10] Meanwhile, the track "Damn Girl", which was produced by the Jawbreakers, incorporates '60s soul music.[18] Gospel music is infused in "Losing My Way", which is the only song in the album that features choir arrangement.

Lyrics and themes

Rick Rubin produced "(Another Song) All Over Again", the only song in the album that was written on paper.

Most of the songs' lyrics were not written down on paper,[3] as Timberlake believed it would only slow him down.[5] For most of the album's production, Timberlake composed the lyrics in his head and would record the song shortly after. Some songs were conceptualized within a relatively shorter time, while others took longer because Timberlake had wanted to incorporate variation. For instance, the lyrics to "Losing My Way" were in a narrative style which took Timberlake longer to write.[3] The only song that Timberlake wrote down on paper was the Rubin-produced "(Another Song) All Over Again". Rubin felt it was unusual for Timberlake because he requested the latter to write the lyrics first instead of recording it directly in the vocal booth.[3]

Sharing common themes with Justified, FutureSex/LoveSounds contains songs that are thematically based on and, according to Timberlake, were motivated by sex and love.[19] MTV editor Jennifer Vineyard summarizes that the album illustrates "the very nature of how sex and love are interchangeable and immutable and contradictory and complementary all at once".[19] The first half of the album, FutureSex, generally focus on themes about sex that are evident on songs like the title track "FutureSex/LoveSound", "LoveStoned", "Damn Girl" and "Sexy Ladies".[19] The second half, LoveSounds, is the album's "sweet side",[19] encompassing songs such as "My Love", the slow jam "Until the End of Time" and "What Goes Around... Comes Around". Meanwhile, "LoveStoned" transitions to a two-minute prelude "I Think She Knows".[19]

Although themes of sex and love are dominant in the album, the song "Losing My Way" diverges to a more serious topic, which was inspired by a documentary of crystal meth addiction that Timberlake watched.[19] Meanwhile, "(Another Song) All Over Again" is a homage to soul musician Donny Hathaway according to Timberlake.[6]

The lyrics to "What Goes Around... Comes Around" are thought to have similar meaning to "Cry Me A River". In an interview, he revealed that the song was based on one of his friends' experience.[6] "My Love" was also noted as "arguably" similar with "Cry Me A River".[14] Timberlake however confirmed in many interviews that the record is not autobiographical, although he himself had an experience to draw from.[14][19]

Release and promotion

Due to some of its explicit contents, original standard editions of the albums bore the Parental Advisory label.


FutureSex/LoveSounds was released worldwide on September 12, 2006.[20] While a clean version was also released, unedited standard editions of the album have Parental Advisory labels affixed on the CD cases due to some of its explicit contents.

More than a year after, a deluxe edition of the album was released on November 27, 2007, in CD/DVD format.[21] The edition contains three additional tracks, each featuring guest artist. One of the tracks is a re-recording of "Until the End of Time", now a duet between Timberlake and American R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles. The DVD portion contains footage from Timberlake's live performances and behind the scenes on music videos of four singles including "SexyBack" and "What Goes Around... Comes Around".

According to Billboard magazine, Jive's mother company Sony BMG offered 71 distinct products to tie in with FutureSex/LoveSounds. This was an attempt at finding solutions to declining sales in physical albums, and Timberlake's was among those proffered in various configurations and versions. Aside from the album itself, the project included digital version, ringtones, wallpaper and individual tracks.[22]

Before, an artist's release was made available in less than ten formats.[23] In recent years, versioning strategies have been increasingly applied particularly to the recording industry. On the 2010 book The Music Industry: Music in the Cloud which examines such context, author Patrik Wikström noted FutureSex/LoveSounds as one "high-profile" example.[24] From the project, a total of 115 versions or products have been sold.[23] According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the project sold as of 2008 more than 19 million units worldwide, 20 percent of which were sales on CD format.[24]


Five major singles were issued from the album, led by "SexyBack" which was released on July 7, 2006, two months prior to the publication of the album. Regarding the song, Timberlake surmised he did not sound like himself before.[25] "SexyBack", which lacks his distinctive falsetto, is seen as a complete departure from Timberlake's recognized sound,[26] and his management thought it might risk being unrecognizable as a "Justin Timberlake song".[25] But that which nonetheless appealed to him,[25] Timberlake reportedly insisted to have "SexyBack" released as the album's lead single.[25] Jive executive Barry Weiss, who initially doubted the suggestion, later told in an interview in February 2007 that albeit an "unusual record", it was a "risk that clearly paid off".[27]

"SexyBack" was followed with the release of "My Love" in the third quarter of 2006, and "What Goes Around... Comes Around" in early January 2007. The single releases for the standard edition of the album spanned a year, during which time the fourth single "LoveStoned" was released. When the deluxe edition was issued, the duet version of "Until the End of Time" was also released in the same month. The single version includes as its B-side the prelude "Set the Mood", which is juxtaposed with "Summer Love" in the album's traclisting. The European release of "Until the End of Time" omits "Set the Mood", and instead included "Summer Love" as double A-side.

Commercially, the album's first three singles have been the most successful in the domestic music market. They each peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, giving Timberlake credit as the only artist to achieve such feat since R&B singer Usher accomplished four chart-topper singles between February and December 2004.[28] "SexyBack" and "My Love" have since been certified multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), an achievement that was seen as "rare" amidst free file-sharing in the internet in which reaching the million mark has become a struggle in the music industry.[29]

Timberlake performing at St. Paul, Minnesota, one of the venues of his first worldwide tour, FutureSex/LoveShow


In support of the album, Timberlake embarked on the FutureSex/LoveShow, his first concert tour on a global scale. Promoted primarily by AEG Live, the concert tour reached North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania, with 119 venues in total. It began on January 8, 2007, in San Diego, California, and culminated in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on December 6, 2007. FutureSex/LoveShow, which drew 1.6 million people worldwide, grossed a total of US$126.8 million, the third top-grossing concert tours in 2007.[30]

In May 2007, it was announced that Timberlake signed a deal with HBO network to broadcast the live concert. Timberlake previously appeared on HBO which aired the 'N Sync Live From Madison Square Garden concert in 2000. FutureSex/LoveShow was taped on the second night at Madison Square Garden on August 16, 2007. The footage was broadcast by HBO on September 3, 2007, and later on September 6 due to demand.[31] On November 20, 2007, a two-disc edition of FutureSex/LoveShow: Live In Madison Square Garden was released on DVD and Blu-ray formats that were sold exclusively by the retailer Best Buy. The release included extra footage including a song-by-song commentary by Timberlake and pre- and post-show clips.[32]

In 2008, the broadcast earned Timberlake an Emmy Award in the category Outstanding Picture Editing For A Special (Single Or Multi-Camera).[33] For Timberlake's performance of "What Goes Around... Comes Around" at the Madison Square Garden, Josh Tyrangiel of Time magazine ranked it second on its list of top ten live performance in 2007. Tyrangiel writes, "It's a little on the long side, but Timberlake earns this symphonic take on What Goes Around from his HBO special."[34] On October 31, 2007, Billboard magazine announced the finalists for the 2007 Billboard Touring Awards, which was based on actual box office performance from January 1, 2007, to September 30, 2007. Timberlake was nominated in the categories Top Tour, Top Draw and Breakthrough Artist;[35] he won the latter that was announced during the awards show on November 15, 2007.[36]

Reception and impact

Critical response

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (70/100)[37]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[38]
Entertainment Weekly (B-)[39]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[40]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[41]
The New York Times (favorable)[42]
Pitchfork Media (8.1/10)[43]
Q 3/5 stars[37]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[44]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[45]
Stylus Magazine (B+)[46]

According to The New York Times and MTV, FutureSex/LoveSounds was released to critical acclaim.[47][48] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100, the album received an average score of 70, based on 25 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[37]

Critics noted the variety and characteristics of sound on the album. A review in Torque magazine credited Timberlake for "manag[ing] to surprise with an eclectic collection of sounds, and in a good way".[49] Clark Collis of Entertainment Weekly also described it as a strange-sounding album.[50] Katy Kroll of Billboard noted the album's sound as may be a "bit different, but the music's sex appeal remains a force to be reckoned with".[51] Bob Seger of the Los Angeles Times suggested that the album is not "an easy listen at first", but "repeated listening helps the tunes unravel".[41] Allmusic senior editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine writes, "Graceless he may be, but Timberlake is nevertheless kind of fascinating on FutureSex/LoveSounds since his fuses a clear musical vision [...]"[38]

Further, critics noted the Prince-influence album. Q called it a "set of forward-thinking pop reminiscent of Sign O' The Times", Prince's 1987 studio album.[37] Chuck Arnold of People magazine remarked that Timberlake "boldly channels the libidinous funk of early, pre-add Jehovah's-Witness Prince".[52] Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times stated, "How well do Mr. Timberlake and Timbaland work together? So well that they can make even the world's most irritating percussion instrument, the human beatbox, sound pretty good."[42] She also took notice of the album's preludes and interludes, writing, "Timbaland has long been known for hiding little surprises near the end of songs, and here he takes his obsession with transformation to new heights."[42] Writing for Rolling Stone, critic Robert Christgau commented that although "some of the up-tempo stuff flirts with mechanical muscle-flexing", Timberlake's "best new tracks are thrilling".[44]

In a negative review of the album, Vibe stated, "Timberlake and Timbaland [...] write frustratingly awkward songs."[37] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian summarized his review writing, "FutureSex/LoveSounds almost works: close, but no enema."[40] Ben Williams of New York commented that Timberlake is "better at being sappy than sexy" and concluded, "If he hasn’t yet invented a persona intriguing enough to live up to his music, give him credit for being one of the few white men still brave enough to make black music."[53]

Commercial performance

Fueled by its lead single "SexyBack",[54] FutureSex/LoveSounds sold more than 684,000 units in its first week, peaking at number one on the Billboard 200, the official US albums chart. It became Timberlake's number-one album as a solo artist.[55] The album has sold over four million units in the United States, and has been certified four-time platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (ARIA).[56] FutureSex/LoveSounds became the eighteenth best-selling album of 2006 in the United States.[57]

Internationally, the album was also well received, selling almost equal units and topping many charts worldwide.[26][58] Sony BMG distinguished FutureSex/LoveSounds as the biggest-selling album among the record company's releases in 2006.[58] Weiss noted that in the past three to five years before the album's release, American artists found it increasingly hard to achieve commercial success in international music markets. He found that Timberlake was among those few "that successfully sells in every country around the world".[16] According to MTV, the album has since sold more than 10 million units worldwide.[47]

In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number one.[58] FutureSex/LoveSounds became the biggest pre-order album in iTunes history, breaking the all-time record for one week digital sales previously held by the English alternative rock band Coldplay.[58] Elsewhere in Europe, The album debuted at number one in Ireland, and opened at number two in Sweden and Switzerland.[59] In Australia, the album peaked at number one and has since been certified five-time platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association, denoting shipments of over 350,000 units.[60] FutureSex/LoveSounds is the thirty-fourth best-selling album of 2006 in Australia, and third in the following year.[61][62]


In 2007, the album received four nominations at the Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Pop Vocal Album.[63] Timberlake lost the two; however, he won the Best Dance Recording for "SexyBack" and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "My Love".[64] The following year at the Grammys, "What Goes Around... Comes Around" was nominated for Record of the Year; Timberlake won Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for the same song and another Best Dance Recording for "LoveStoned/I Think She Knows".[65][66] In 2007, Timberlake was nominated for seven categories at the MTV Video Music Awards, winning four including Artist of the Year. He also earned the Quadruple Threat award, an accolade that recognizes those artists who have excelled in multiple media including music, fashion and acting.[67]

Aside from procuring awards and nominations, the album earned numerous best-of lists in 2006[26] and the following years. Music magazine Rolling Stone listed FutureSex/LoveSounds as their 26th among 2006's top 50 albums of the year,[68] and 46th on their top 100 albums of the 2000s.[69] Entertainment Weekly ranked the album at number nine on their list of 10 best albums of the decade. It says that FutureSex/LoveSounds is an album that "redefined pop's cutting edge".[70] Earlier in 2008, the album made it at number 31 on the magazine's 100 new classics in music.[71] On the British newspaper The Observer, the album made it at number 47 on the publication's list best 50 albums of 2006.[72]

On the general publication Time, the album is ranked eighth among its list of ten best albums in 2006. The publication notes that Timberlake "levitates into a falsetto that honors Prince and Michael Jackson without stealing from them".[73]

Cultural impact

The success of FutureSex/LoveSounds has had an impact to both Timberlake's and Timbaland's careers. For Timberlake, it further established his career as solo artist. He comments, "'SexyBack' was the point when people stopped asking me when *NSYNC [sic] were going to reunite and started asking what I was going to do next."[74] Timberlake has also beefed up his fan base, gaining "hipster" fans in the wake of the album's success.[75]

Combining the international success of Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds and Nelly Furtado's Loose, demands for Timbaland's work reportedly surged.[29] Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Chris Willman remarked that FutureSex/LoveSounds is "like Timberlake's 'cred' record",[39] although Chris Collis said Timbaland nearly stole the spotlight, sharing with Timberlake the "star" status.[50]

Aside from earning critical acclaim for the album, according to Sia Michel of The New York Times, Timberlake was responsible for popularizing in 2006 the catchphrase "I'm bringing sexy back",[16][48] which is culled from the lead single "SexyBack". It spawned a "phenomenon" in which video-makers spoofed the song. At least four parodies gained attention such as "SweatyBack" and "HairyBack".[76]

In 2007, Timberlake is ranked among Time magazine's 100 men and women "whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world". For the publication, Timbaland writes, "It's as if Justin had been born 26 years ago to deliver music to the world. There are those who follow and those who lead. Justin is a leader, setting the bar for what's expected of others."[77]

Contents and credits

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "FutureSex/LoveSound"   Justin Timberlake, Timothy Mosley, Nate Hills Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Danja 4:01
2. "SexyBack" (featuring Timbaland) Timberlake, Mosley, Hills Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Danja 4:02
3. "Sexy Ladies/Let Me Talk to You (Prelude)"   Timberlake, Mosley, Hills Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Danja 5:32
4. "My Love" (featuring T.I.) Timberlake, Mosley, Hills, Clifford Harris Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Danja 4:36
5. "LoveStoned/I Think She Knows (Interlude)"   Timberlake, Mosley, Hills Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Danja 7:23
6. "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around (Interlude)"   Timberlake, Mosley, Hills Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Danja 7:28
7. "Chop Me Up" (featuring Timbaland and Three 6 Mafia) Timberlake, Mosley, Hills, Jordan Houston, Paul Beauregard Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Danja 5:04
8. "Damn Girl" (featuring will.i.am) Timberlake, William Adams, James Davis Jawbreakers 5:12
9. "Summer Love/Set the Mood (Prelude)"   Timberlake, Mosley, Hills Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Danja 6:24
10. "Until the End of Time"   Timberlake, Mosley, Hills Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Danja 5:22
11. "Losing My Way"   Timberlake, Mosley, Hills Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Danja 5:22
12. "(Another Song) All Over Again"   Timberlake, Matt Morris Rick Rubin 5:45
Total length:


Credits are adapted from Allmusic.[78]

Major credits
  • Justin Timberlake – beat box, choir arrangement, choir director, composer, executive producer, guitar, keyboards, piano, producer, vocals, vocals (background)
  • Timbaland – audio production, beat box, composer, drums, mixing, producer, programming, rap, vocals, vocals (background)
Production credits
  • Phillip Broussaard – assistant
  • Venus Brown – A&R
  • Lindsay Chase – production coordination
  • Jeff Chestek – engineer, string engineer
  • Jimmy Douglass – engineer, mixing
  • Scott Elgin – assistant engineer
  • Catherine Furniss – grooming
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • Ricardo Gutierrez – assistant
  • Dave Hampton – technical director
  • John Hanks – digital editing
  • Lynn Harless – management
  • Paul Harless – management
  • Padraic Kerin – engineer
  • Jason Lader – engineer
  • Doug Lloyd – creative director, design
  • Robert Montes – assistant engineer
  • Dana Nielsen – engineer
  • Frankie Payne – hair stylist
  • Herb Powers – mastering
  • Terry Richardson – photography
  • Andros Rodriguez – engineer
  • Nancy Roof – A&R
  • Rick Rubin – producer
  • Andrew Scheps – mixing
  • John Stahl – assistant
  • Craig Wiggins – choir arrangement, choir director
  • Ethan Willoughby – engineer
  • Stephanie Cooper Willoughby – production coordination
  • Johnny Wright – management
  • Joe Zee – stylist
Music credits
  • Richard Adkins – violin
  • Peggy Baldwin – celli
  • Davis A. Barnett – viola
  • Brian Benning – violin
  • Charlie Bisharat – violin
  • Paul Blake – guitar
  • Ida Bodin – bass
  • Kevin Brandon – bass
  • Mark Cargill – contractor, violin
  • Lenny Castro – percussion
  • Susan Chatman – violin
  • Giovanna Moraga Clayton –celli
  • Jeff Clayton – flute
  • Mary Collymore – choir, chorus
  • Heather Covington – choir, chorus
  • Mario Diaz de Leon – violin
  • Yvette Devereaux – violin
  • Jenny DLorenzo – cello
  • Andrew Duckles – viola
  • Melvin Dunlap – bass
  • Ernest Ehrhardt – celli
  • James Ford – trumpet
  • Matt Funes – viola
  • James Gadson – drums
  • Pamela Gates – violin
  • Larry Gold – conductor, string arrangements
  • Smokey Hormel – guitar
  • Gloria Justin – violin
Music credits
  • Suzie Katayama – cello
  • Valarie King – flute
  • Emma Kummrow – violin
  • Timothy Landauer – cello
  • Hope Lawrence – choir, chorus
  • Natalie Leggett – violin
  • Jennifer Levin – violin
  • Rafael Madeira – bassoon
  • Darrin McCann – viola
  • Clarence McDonald – organ
  • Roudy Michel – choir contractor
  • Melinda Michelle – choir, chorus
  • Patrick Morgan – viola
  • Oresa Napper – choir, chorus
  • Cameron Patrick – viola
  • Darryl Pearson – bass
  • Bill Pettaway – guitar
  • Michele Richards – violin
  • Jimbo Ross – viola
  • Renee Smith – choir, chorus
  • Caleb Speir – bass
  • Tereza Stanislav – violin
  • Igor Szwec – violin
  • T.I. – rap, vocals
  • Three 6 Mafia – rap, vocals
  • Mari Tsumura – violin
  • Josephina Vergara – violin
  • Pastor Hezekiah Walker – narrator
  • Ahmed Wallace – choir, chorus
  • Thomas Warren – choir, chorus
  • Imani Welch – choir, chorus
  • will.i.am – rap
  • John Wittenberg – violin
  • The Benjamin Wright Orchestra – orchestra

Charts and certifications

Peak positions

Chart (2006)[79] Peak
Australian Albums Chart[79] 1
Austrian Albums Chart[79] 5
Belgian Flanders Albums Chart[79] 5
Belgian Wallonia Albums Chart[79] 4
Canadian Albums Chart[80] 1
Dutch Albums Chart[79] 4
Danish Albums Chart[79] 3
Finnish Albums Chart[79] 5
French Albums Chart[79] 5
Hungarian Albums Chart 20
Irish Albums Chart[79] 1
Italian Albums Chart[79] 7
Japanese Albums Chart[81] 18
New Zealand Albums Chart[79] 4
Norwegian Albums Chart[79] 5
Polish Albums Chart[79] 20
Portuguese Albums Chart[79] 20
Spanish Albums Chart[79] 30
Swedish Albums Chart[79] 2
Swiss Albums Chart[79] 2
UK Albums Chart[82] 1
US Billboard 200[80] 1
US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[80] 1


Country Certification
Argentina Gold[83]
Australia 5× Platinum[84]
Austria Gold[85]
Belgium 2× Platinum[86]
Brazil Gold[87]
Canada 3× Platinum[88]
Denmark 2× Platinum[89]
Europe Platinum[90]
Finland Gold[91]
France Platinum[92]
Germany 2× Platinum[93]
Ireland 6× Platinum[94]
Japan Gold[95]
Netherlands Gold[96]
New Zealand 3× Platinum[97]
Poland Platinum
Russia Diamond[98]
Switzerland 2× Platinum[99]
United Kingdom 3× Platinum
United States 4× Platinum[100]

Year-end charts

Chart (2006) Rank
Australian Urban Albums Chart[101] 7
Swiss Albums Chart[102] 27
U.S. Billboard 200[103] 18
U.S. Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[104] 13
Chart (2007) Rank
Australian Urban Albums Chart[105] 1
Swiss Albums Chart[106] 14
U.S. Billboard 200[107] 7
U.S. Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[108] 10
Chart (2008) Rank
U.S. Billboard 200[109] 126
U.S. Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[110] 65

Decade-end charts

Chart (2000–2009) Rank
U.S. Billboard 200[111] 60

Procession and succession

Preceded by
B'Day by Beyoncé Knowles
Billboard 200 number-one album
September 24, 2006 – October 7, 2006
Succeeded by
Release Therapy by Ludacris
Preceded by
Eyes Open by Snow Patrol
UK number one album
September 17, 2006 – September 23, 2006
Succeeded by
Ta-Dah by Scissor Sisters
Preceded by
Revelations by Audioslave
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
September 18, 2006 – September 24, 2006
Succeeded by
Ta-Dah by Scissor Sisters


Inline citations

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