Justin Timberlake - "Take Back The Night"

He’s already teased it, but now Justin Timberlake has shared all of “Take Back The Night,” the first single from the second installment of his big 20/20 Experience comeback album. It’s a lush, effervescent disco-pop track with serious Off The Wall overtones, and DJs all over the world will be blending it with “Get Lucky” this weekend. The disco revival marches on, and you can hear the song below.

Part 2 of The 20/20 Experience is out 9/30 on RCA. Do you think Timberlake knows that the phrase “take back the night” has entirely different connotations?

Comments (69)
  1. Super MJ Vibes. This is actual good pop music!

  2. They really should have done a quick google search of “Take Back the Night” before writing this song. Because yeah…. holy shit this is pretty cringeworthy. You think they would have at least rethought that “surrender to me” lyric.

    • Hm…I see your point, but it’s not like this is a song promoting the opposite. There’s no way someone didn’t tell him of that connection though, don’t you think? Makes me wonder if its use was intentional somehow?

      • I personally didn’t even think about the connection until you mentioned it, but some PR guy had to of mentioned it I would think…hmm

        • It seems like a pretty stupid move either way –– if they didn’t know, then someone should have at least said, “that phrase seems awfully catchy, let’s make sure someone didn’t use it already.” If they did know, then it seems like kind of a dick move to take the name of a pretty well known organization/movement that’s doing important shit and repurpose it for the sake of a catchy dance jam… “Hey, let’s take back ‘Take Back the Night’ and make it a meaningless phrase again.” Take that, activists!

          But hey, maybe this will generate some good PR for Take Back the Night. I expect the bemused blog posts to start rolling out any moment now.

          • My buddy said they should just use it as their theme song now. Might as well : )

          • So I find this amusing, to a degree, because it seems like a pretty ignorant move, much akin to Timberlake’s clear oversight in thinking that hat he dons in the opening moments of the video was a good idea.

            At the same time, it’s fucking infuriating –– for me, it’s not easy to shrug this off as just a fun coincidence. If anything, it’s indicative of how little people seem to care about what should be even the most basic feminist causes. “Oh there’s just some little anti-rape foundation out there that shares this name, but whatever, I think we’ll put it to better use by advocating the truly groudbreaking cause of dancing/partying/etc.” No. Just no. I’m not against the existence of catchy pop songs, by the way, I’m against lazy bullshit that marginalizes causes that matter. I feel like most people should be.

    • I had never heard of the organization before it was mentioned by stereogum a few day ago, but I have however hear the phrase “take back the night” before in plenty of pop culture.
      I really don’t expect him to change the hook of the song because there is an organization of the same name, and it’s certainly possible, if not probable, that he didn’t hear about the organization until long after writing and working on the track. That’s just being way too PC.

      • The whole “don’t be so PC” is such a bullshit argument. This isn’t about so-called political correctness. The fact is, the first thing that pops up when you Google search Take Back the Night is (at least until recently) something that deserves some respect, or should at least prompt some fucking thought. Timberlake and co. obviously ignored that and banked on the fact that other people would as well, and appended it to this relatively unremarkable (to my ears) song. Is it too politically correct to ask that people put a little bit of thought into this shit? I don’t think it should be. It’s just a song, yeah, but it’s completely tone deaf of him to do this, and it smacks of disrespect at worse and total, hilarious ignorance at best.

        • Why the fuck does google matter? Don’t give me that “some one might find it” shit. Who was randomly googling “Take Back the Night” without having the organization in mind? Yeah the issues the organization are taking on are important, but people never using the phrase “Take Back the Night” isn’t in any way showing respect. It’s a fucking saying that’s been around for ages.

          And people should put thought into shit? Really? Get off your damn high horse. Maybe some people don’t have every damn thing in mind when they’re writing a song because, you know, it’s their prerogative to write a song and not to make everyone in the world happy. What’s hilarious is that he didn’t do anything actually controversial are harmful to someone. He just named a fucking song.

          There are dozens of songs with the exact same title. Are we allowed to tell Timberlake he can’t use the title or phrase because he’s more famous? That seems like a ridiculous restriction.

          Lastly, many charities and organizations use big songs as themes or famous lyrics as mission statements. If anything I would think this is a good opportunity for the organization to gain some exposure.

          • Why the fuck does google matter would be a valid point if this weren’t 2013. Pretty sure Timberlake had internet access. Timbaland usually doesn’t produce tracks on location in rustic cabins deep in the Frank Church Wilderness. And please, don’t act like this song just rose from some fruitful burst of thought and can’t dare be fucked with due to some coincidence –– lead singles from Justin Timberlake albums are meticulously crafted and calculated affairs. They put a lot of thought into this shit. And indeed there are other songs with this title, but none of them are this high profile by a long shot.

            Oh, and “many charities and organizations use big songs as themes of famous lyrics as mission statements?” So you want a group that dates back to the 1970s and works to combat sexual violence suddenly hitch their wagons to the lyrics, “Tonight’s the night come on surrender I won’t lead your love astray… Your love’s a weapon give your body some direction that’s my aim… Then we could… (take back the night)” ????? That’s the dumbest suggestion I’ve ever heard.

        • Excuse me, are you saying that an artist cannot share a song title with an organization, whatever its cause is? I fail to see the offense or disrespect. You are obviously way over-affected by the thing.
          Also, the title is ‘Take Back The Night’. It’s not ‘Come Here and Do Me, Stepfather’.
          Chill the fuck up.

      • PC is a good thing theese days.

    • That was the first thing I thought when I heard the song title, but what can you expect? Even “good” modern pop isn’t altogether intelligent.

    • Not to belabor the point –– clearly the pro-JT faction is not taking well to the reasonable criticisms I’ve tossed out there –– but now Take Back the Night’s threatening legal action, which was expected.

      Plus, some telling quotes from the org:

      “They got back to us and said they’re sorry,” she said. “His agent said ‘Justin’s a good guy! He’s a family man!’ They claimed he’d never heard of us before he wrote that song. I don’t know what country he’s been in. I suppose it could have slipped off his radar screen somehow. Somebody working for him definitely messed up.”

      “It’s a big song, and he didn’t take the necessary steps to make sure that it was appropriate,” Koestner says. “Normally they do have due diligence.”

      “Usually people are pretty mindful because no one is actually ‘for’ sexual assault,” she explains. “This whole thing with Justin is just really unfortunate and we’re hoping it can be amicably resolved.”

      So yeah. I’m clearly on record here about having no sympathy for Timblerlake here, but here’s hoping TBTN gets some good publicity and a healthy chunk of cash from this whole thing.

      • I agree about hoping they get some good publicity, but frankly I’m uncomfortable with an organization that stands for something so upright getting money through a lawsuit about a song title. It’s the kind of business tactics that make me feel that people put goals above being good humans to each other.

        However if JT want’s to donate the money out of a sincere apology (settling out of court don’t count), then I’m all for it. I think we can all agree that he is most likely anti-sexual assault so he’ll try to do some good, as most people would.

      • It is a slightly ignorant and insenstive move, I’ll give that to ya… But to tell the truth, I think most people listening to Timberlake probably hadn’t heard of the org until this hoopla. So, it’s a win win for the org, right? PUBLICITY.

        Oh well.

  3. This is good stuff! Definitely hearing Off The Wall in there.

    JT very well could have two of the best albums in an already remarkably stellar year.

  4. Needs more nudity though…

  5. Feels good, donut?

  6. This doesn’t need to exist.

  7. Haha, whoops! I started listening to this and forgot I had fired up an Eluvium track. Needless to say I thought JT was losing his mind near the end of this track in some wall of noise climax.

    MY BAD! This is good though. Why can’t the “Take Back the Night” groups just adopt this as a theme song and call it a day?

  8. Gotta question the release of this seeing as how they just put out Tunnel Vision

    • no you dont. TV wasnt a single. The video even proves it. He lists the singles. It isnt on there.

      JT knows what he’s doing. Anyone with a cursory idea of what Twitter is can check out people flipping out over this song. He;s on every single blog in the world right now. I dont think he’s hurting himself by releasing the song right now.

      • Well then I’ll step back and say they should have released Tunnel Vision since it’s the better of the two songs and the best track off the album.

        And I really wouldn’t cite Twitter as a good barometer of what’s good. If that were the case then Sharknado would be the greatest movie ever

        • I just dont think it really matters. 20.20 part 1 is a classic. There is other songs that are single material on it, but why focus on that album only. Id bet he will release 2 or 3 singles from Part 2. Makes sense to focus on promoting and getting the word out on part 2.

          You seemed to imply it was bad buisness sense to not promote TV and to focus on TBTN. My point was that anyone who can read, can find out that JT made the right move today. Plus, he put the album on presale, seems pretty simple to deduce why he’d promote a single from part 2 and not focus on a single off part 1.

          Id argue he made more of a buzz by doing the teasing video and releasing the new song this way, than he would of, had he just released TV as a single.

        • Keep in mind, he’s still promoting two albums here. 20/20 isn’t that new. Is he supposed to just forget about the first volume now that this one is on the horizon? The whole point is to release them at once. I don’t see what your problem is.

  9. Better than the new Thicke-Timbaland song, which, despite the Timbaland-in-2006 production touches, is more Solo-Timbaland than “Sexyback”, unfortunately.

    The MJ influence is there, no doubt. Hasn’t it been since “Like I Love You”?

    I’m getting the feeling we’re on the brink of a Timberlake Vs Thicke war, with the indies taking the former’s side, and the poptimists the latter’s.

    • Oh it’s on now! Timberlake vs Thicke lol!

    • Thicke is decent enough but is there really any competition here?

      • Ummm……No, there really isn’t ….It’s a pretty onesided fight. I’d argue that Thicke gets one-shotted in this pop battle.

      • I said there was gonna be different opinions depending on which side of the fence some people sit. Whether or not I think there’s any competition doesn’t really matter.

        • Isn’t it funny that JT would be on the indie side while RT would be the other? I don’t disagree at all. Just kind of funny given their backgrounds. Seems like it would’ve been reverse once upon a time.

          • its not that odd. Thicke’s Blurred Lines is the song of the summer, but he makes pop music at heart, stuff that gets played on the radio. Its not too out there. JT on the other hand makes 6 to 8 minute songs that morph, alter and shift midsong. He teams up with Tim to give him state of the art production and beats, and his videos are essentially art. Thicke’s great but I see JT as an innovator.

          • Yeah now…but I’m saying its funny that things ended up that way given the history of each. 10 years ago if you told me that would be the case I’d have a hard time believing you

  10. How come nobody has yet mention the In Your Mind (1977′s Bryan Ferry) homage? Colors, glasses, pose and even the music!

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    • You’ve mentioned Joey before…
      Are you really that clueless to what’s going on in the pop world? Does Timberlake’s music and the fact that people respect him really confuse you that much? Whether you like him or not, I think one would have to be pretty ignorant to pass off JT’s popularity as nothing more than a runaway boy-band flunky…

      Give me a break.

  12. pop is killing it this year. Indies great, but ive been more blown away by pop this year. Get Lucky, Beautiful, Blurred Lines, JT’s 2 albums in one year, Tim’s comeback etc…

  13. im sorry i still have the same problem with this song as i did with the 20/20 experience in general, all the songs are good and have a throwback vibe but they are simply not that memorable or up to par with any of JT’s past albums (Future/sex/love/sounds and even Justified). This song def. has a blurred lines/getlucky/ kind of mj vibe but it just isnt as good, sounds like a filler track tbh.

  14. This is good stuff. Been long while since I’ve really enjoyed new pop music. But I gotta give it to Timberlake, I’ve really enjoyed 20/20 Exp and this sounds great too.

  15. I thought it was pretty boring, like some folks I can only think of the org/event TBTN. I doubt that’ll be a problem for most people but it could unintentionally raise awareness for the org if the press makes a big deal out of it which is kinda cool.

  16. This would’ve been a b-side on Justified and sounds too familiar to “Take Me Now (And She Said)”. Expected a bit more…

  17. It could just be that I try to stay pretty active in the world of feminist activism, but the first thing that came to mind when I saw the song title was Take Back the Night, the organization. And I know it’s a top40/club song, and clubs generally have a sexual atmosphere anyway but a lot of his recent songs/videos have seemed kind of sexist/creepy (the video for “Tunnel Vision,” especially), this one notwithstanding. Justin can be “a good guy” and “a family man” and be against sexual assault personally and still contribute to sexism. Maybe it was an honest mistake, but if he donated some of the profits to them/did some PSAs it might be favorable for his image. And maybe he should start doing a little bit more research before releasing stuff/hire better PR people (and probably start thinking about the stuff he writes and how it might affect people, but perhaps that’s asking too much).

  18. I love when Justin talks to the instruments: ‘Drums’ ‘Then the Horns Say’ etc

  19. This song makes me feel like going out and getting raped.

  20. Poor man’s Off the Wall b side.

    “Working Day and Night” > “Take Back the Night”

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