On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Justin Timberlake – Like I Love You (2002)
” Like I Love You” is the debut single recorded by American singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake for his debut studio album, (2002), which features American hip hop duo Clipse. It was co-written by Timberlake and the Neptunes ( Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams), who also produced it.
We’re saying farewell to the UK today, dear reader, and returning to the US and to Memphis, Tennessee. Justin Timberlake began his career on television shows before being a prominent member of the boy band, NSYNC (1995 – 2002). With the group descending into hiatus in 2002, Timberlake reverted to a solo career. As we join him in 2002 he is working on his debut album, Justified, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track, Like I Love You.
While recording Justified, Timberlake was working with The Neptunes, a duo comprised of Chad Hugo and Pharrel Williams, and they helped to produce his album and wrote tracks with him. Like I Love You initially seems like a standard pop song with Timberlake being a narrator who is really into a girl and assures her that if she will take a chance on him then he will treat her really well and give her an amazing time. The song mixes things up by giving a verse to hip hop duo, Clipse, and was partly out of a desire to promote them. It’s certainly an interesting divergence.
I have, of course, heard of Justin Timberlake and even seen him in the world of cinema, notably in The Social Network (2010). Timberlake’s only music I was familiar with prior to this challenge was Cry Me a River, which was a massive hit upon release, but was never for me. Like I Love You is in a similar vein in not being as accessible for an ignorant music lover such as myself but I do recognise and appreciate the experimentation going on here and applaud Timberlake for not playing safe and just trying to replicate his NSYNC days.
Favourite songs so far: