Album: FutureSex: LoveSounds (2006)
Charted: 1 1
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  • What does Justin Timberlake mean when he says he's bringing sexy back? He explained in Observer Music Monthly, July 2006: "I have trouble naming my songs. The chorus is very James Brown-ish, call out and repeat, like 'Sex Machine.' I wrote it from top to bottom. It's a very physical song, meant to provoke sexual dance. 'Sex Machine' is the closest reference. If David Bowie were to cover 'Sex Machine': 'Rebel Rebel, got ya mother in a whirrrrl'."
  • Timberlake wrote this song with his producers, Timbaland and Nate "Danja" Hills. This team also worked on Timberlake's "Cry Me A River" and produced Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous," which features a cameo by Timberlake in the video.
  • Listeners spent a lot time analyzing the lyrics to this song. According to one theory, it is about S&M practices, with the "Sexy Back" the markings on the back of the person being whipped. This section in particular lends credence to this theory:

    Dirty babe
    You see these shackles, baby
    I'm your slave
    I'll let you whip me if I misbehave
    It's just that no one makes me feel this way
  • The refrain in this song is "Go 'head, be gone with it," but Timberlake knew it needed a better title. He came up with "SexyBack," and make the opening line, "I'm bringin' sexy back."

    "Sexy back" appears only three times in the track, but it shows up at the beginning and again at the end, which make it memorable. It's also a it's a unique title, which makes it stand out.
  • Timberlake brought Michael Haussman in to direct the music video because of his work on Madonna's "Take A Bow," which has had a lasting influence on the singer. He told MTV News: "Even today, I still remember the visuals, the images, how he captured her. A lot of times, Madonna seems like she's the person in control, and in that video, she seemed vulnerable. It was a cool thing to see."

    The video was shot in Barcelona over four days, with Elena Anaya starring opposite Timberlake as a rival spy who becomes his love interest.
  • Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Timberlake credited the Thin White Duke as an inspiration for this song. "I was listening to a lot of [David] Bowie at that time - Ziggy Stardust and Diamond Dogs - and I played 'Rebel Rebel' over and over again, like, 15 times the day before I wrote anything for 'SexyBack'," he said.

    "We were interested in taking those new-wave synth sounds that were made popular by bands like Tears for Fears and the Human League and seeing how much R&B we could add to that sound." Timberlake added. "We wanted to take those synth sounds and make them arpeggiated, almost like what's very common with EDM now."
  • Musically, this song was ahead of its time, forged from elements of electronic dance music at a time when that was a fringe genre. The foundation is "four-on-the-floor" beat typically found in disco songs: the kick drum hits every beat in the bar. Danja Hills came up with the idea to use that beat on this track.
  • There is a certain self-awareness in the song, as at different points we hear "Take it to the bridge" and "Take it to the bridge" introducing those sections. This keeps the song lighthearted and also makes it clear that the song structure is a focal point. James Brown did this a lot, telling his band and the listeners what was coming next.
  • Timbaland often added vocal interjections to the tracks he produced, and he's all over this one, notably in the chorus where he says, "VIP" and "Drinks on me."
  • Timberlake's record company, Jive, planned to release "My Love" as the first single from FutureSex: LoveSounds, which was his second solo album. Justin knew from the reaction of the studio crew that "Sexyback" was a winner, so he pushed for the track to be the debut single and got his way. Released on July 6, 2006, it got a huge reaction and reached #1 on September 9, where it stayed for seven weeks. The album also went to #1 and sold over 9 million copies, vaulting Timberlake to another stratum of stardom.
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Comments: 16

  • Commonly from UnknownKimmie, I'd hate to burst your bubble but here... if the link thing doesn't work then search Second Hand Songs Sexyback by Corinne Bailey Rae. Second Hamd Songs is a website that finds the original song from the cover you listened to.
  • Donna from Ft. Lauderdale, FlI was once dining in a restaurant some years back when someone's cell phone went off. The ringtone was loud and clear, for all to hear: "I'm bringing sexy back..(YEAH)...!" Everyone chuckled.
  • Skip from Colchester, VtKimmie from Malaysia, that is a cover...check your knowledge.
  • Cassandra from Kalispell,In one interview Justin Timberlake said he wrote this song after being stopped by a fan in airport. The fan told him that he needed to bring sexyback and Justin Timberlake with his funny humer said alright and started writing lyrics for "Sexyback"...In the lyrics he even says "I'm bringing sexy back..."
  • Kimmie from Petaling Jaya, MalaysiaHate to burst your bubble, but Justin Timberlake didn't come up with the song. The original version is by Corinne Bailey. Justin Timberlake just 'updated' the song to make it sound more modern
  • Shana from Casablanca, MoroccoI LOVE JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
    And as for the song, it does promote a nice image of the concept of S&M,
    although i think that the song is not only about that..
    It's basically a male and female playin with each other's nerves is a sexual and of course hot manner
    Anyways, I love Justin Timberlake, and his sex-appeal
  • Crystal from Fort Worth, TxThe jokes with song is numerous, but most are funny and I'm so glad Justin thought this song up!
  • Kate from Burnaby, CanadaI can't help but like this song. It's intoxicating!
  • Sum Sum from New DelhiThis song has a tinge of "S&M", very different. liked it while having actually peps up the play...thats it. try it out.
  • Bob from Hippy, Cobilly is so right. if you guys have seen fabio, my pet llama, give me a call. i lost him last thursday at the mall. he has purple polka dots. he is a hippie llama. he doesn't like this song either, i asked him myself. i just thought i would let everyone know that fabio is missing. *tear* *sniff*
  • Matthew from Milford, MaBilly scares me. Seriously, I used to think that the "Go ahead, be golden" line was "Go ahead, let's party." Sometimes, I seriously wish that it was the latter...
  • Kristin from Yaphank, NyOh wow. Anyway, one of my favorite songs. This song definitely represents pop music.
  • Dylan from Port Orange, FlWhat in the name of everything holy is a "hummer"?
  • Sara from Traverse City, MiI like this song when I'm in the right mood in which I can actually deal with Justin Timberlakes voice, which is a very rare and often missed moment on his part.
  • Mandie from Port Royal, Pai love the beat of this song
  • Gavin from Sydney, Australiame thinks it would be lol
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