Single Review: Justin Timberlake “Rock Your Body”

Rock Your Body
Album: Justified
Year: 2003

In the summer of 2003, Justin Timberlake’s career was peaking: his tour with Christina Aguilera was getting rave reviews (but not selling out), he was no longer associated with Britney but yet was able to squeeze more publicity from the relationship, dating Cameron Diaz and his third single, “Rock Your Body” was a huge hit.

Written by the Neptunes, the smooth “Rock Your Body” is about Timberlake going to the club and hitting on a girl he likes. Beginning with the chorus, Justin is already on the prowl, singing, “don’t be so quick to walk away/dance with me/I just wanna rock your body/please stay…” In the first verse, he is trying to get her to dance with him. He buys her a drink (“I’ll have whatever you have”) and compliments her on her dancing (“I like the way you move/so go ahead, girl/just do the ass shaking thing you do” In the pre-chorus, he tells her to get her friends and whoever else wants to join and to “meet [him] on the middle of the floor.”
In the second verse, he assures that he’s not a perverted creep that likes only her ass-shaking (“I don’t mean no harm/just wanna rock you, girl”). However, she does like him, as he notices and makes another move (“see it appears to me/that you like the way I move/I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do/pull you close and share my groove”).

By the bridge, Vanessa Marquez (the girl) wants him to talk to her and not just want to have sex her (“talk to me boy…and you know that you don’t want to hit the floor. I came to romance with you.”). However, Justin is growing impatient and tells her “better have you naked by the end of this song.” But by the end of the song, she finally decides to go to home with him.

Modern disco with touches of R&B glide the single along. Justin Timberlake matches better with the Neptunes than Timbaland. With the Neptunes, Timberlake’s vocals are bit more focused and less showy. However, they didn’t reign in him enough — Timberlake beatboxes at the end. He still needs to prove that he’s “down.” But after the third time, it needs to stop.

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