SZA & Justin Timberlake – “The Other Side”

Justin Timberlake’s involvement with the first Trolls movie paid off richly. Not only did theme song “Can’t Stop The Feeling” debut at #1, he also won himself a new generation of fans thanks to the soundtrack’s popularity with young children, a popularity I can personally attest to. Three and a half years ago I thought it was funny and cute that someone thought to mash up blog-pop classics from Justice and Junior Senior for a cartoon movie. Dozens of listens later, it’s not so funny or cute anymore — though to be fair, overly cheery covers of classic songs constitutes an upgrade from some of the other music my kids subject me to.

But I digress. We’re gathered at this blog post today because Timberlake is back with another attempt to indoctrinate young minds via hyperactive animation. A sequel called Trolls World Tour is on the way — perhaps with a (gasp!) anti-rock agenda — and with it comes a whole new soundtrack once again executive produced by Timberlake. It’s headlined by “The Other Side,” his new duet with SZA, which has arrived with a music video. (Other artists on the soundtrack include Chris Stapleton, Kelly Clarkson, Anderson .Paak, Mary J. Blige, George Clinton, and Timberlake’s costar Anna Kendrick.)

SZA and Timberlake wrote “The Other Side” with pop super-producer Max Martin, film composer and Childish Gambino creative partner Ludwig Göransson, and Zedd collaborator Sarah Aarons. It’s a popping, fizzing, glittering disco-funk track that, even more than “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” could pass for a song that is not from a children’s movie. When Timberlake’s voice enters at the top of the second verse, a resemblance to “Rock Your Body” emerges, but the ever-versatile SZA is really the star of this show. It ain’t exactly a Ctrl follow-up, but I’ll take it. Listen below, and check back for the official video at 11AM ET.

Trolls World Tour hits theaters 4/17. Before that, the soundtrack drops in March via RCA. It’s available for pre-order here.