I’ll save the talk about the baggage associated with loving Justin Timberlake for another time. In my older years, I’m typically not the type to fall for songs that appear to be engineered in a lab for optimum ear-wormsmanship. “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” is the musical equivalent of a punchline that you can see miles away but still makes you laugh hysterically when you hear it.
In the days post-Prince/Phife/Bowie passing and pre-Trump being elected, I needed a pick me up bad (nothing was going to save me from being depressed after the election.) “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” is deliriously joyful; the perfect summer jam. A summer jam which, shortly after its late spring release I heard blasting out of 2 cars and my own headphones during a run in my neighborhood one morning. If folks in Brooklyn were jamming to this song, I’d have to imagine Middle America was going absolutely ape shit.
Whenever I’m feeling good about life, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” makes me feel even better. It’s a skip-down-the-street dance-flash-mob buy-everyone-at-the-bar-a-round-of-drinks song. It’s cheesy and corny and calculated and buoyant and SO FUCKING GOOD. If you don’t love it, you’re either a way more cynical person than I (and I’m pretty cynical) or you’re a snob or you’re too caught up in the baggage I mentioned above to appreciate it properly.
And it’s become my go-to karaoke song. I’ve sung it at least three times. Thanks, Justin.