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Justin Timberlake brings sexy to the forefront in his brand new micro-mini-movie of a video. Here’s our review.

How well is Justin Timberlake doing on his self-assigned mission to bring sexy back? If the first video from his new album is any indication we'd say he's doing pretty good and then some! Sexy Back, the video, is sleek and sultry, in a well-styled, carefully packaged way.

It brings you an all-grown-up Justin - gone are the trainers and t-shirts, replaced by a sophisticated black suit and slim tie. Also gone is the ex-girlfriend look-alike, replaced by stunning Spanish actress Elena Anaya (Van Helsing) who bears no resemblance to any of Justin's flames, current or ex. Surprisingly, also gone are the overly choreographed dance routines. Justin's new moves are more James Bond, less Michael Jackson and we for one welcome the change.

The video was shot in Barcelona, Spain. There is little indication of that except in the explosive (literally) climax where Justin gets to display his action-movie chops, leaping off an ornate balcony just in the nick of time. Video director Michael Haussman (Madonna's Take A Bow, Shakira's La Tortura, Kanye West’s Jesus Walks) it seems takes his cue from the title of Justin's new album - Future Sex/Love Sounds - and creates a futuristic setting in which Justin gets to frolic and fall in love with a mysterious femme fatale. Said Girl and Justin weave through a slick nightclub full of all-black-wearing party hoppers and super producer Timbaland who lounges in a chair next to pulsating speakers and asks, from time to time, to 'Take it to the bridge/chorus'. He is the man responsible for the ridiculously catchy driving beats of the track so we must pause a moment to give credit where it's due.

Justin in the meantime has two roles to play - that of the suit-clad James Bond/Mr. Smith (no gun-wielding Mrs. in sight), and open-shirted, vest-wearing undercover agent. A small interlude finds him in a shiny room wallpapered with what looks like the surface of a disco ball, wearing a polka dotted scarf - the only half-hearted, out of place moment in the whole video.

We're not exactly clear what the big mystery in the story is but it involves clandestine movements, dismantling of laptops with knives and cautionary application of black tape across doors, just in case someone breaks in and you need to know about it later. It's what saves Undercover Justin's life in the end, so don't go mocking it!

You can read the rest of our feature on Justin Timberlake in the August 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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