Years ago, tracking Brit Brit’s descent into white trashdom was a daily amusement for our readers. Then it got old. Fortunately, K-Fed’s picked up the slack and we’re not quite done ridiculing him yet. Gotta wait until the album’s out at least! Plus, we think we’ve showed considerable restraint on the Britney posts.
That said, our friend Matt Fluxblog sent this song our way, knowing old-school Stereogum would post it in a second. We hesitated, but the irreverant tune is more appealing than we anticipated.
There is something so strangely iconic and resonant about the relationship and subsequent break-up of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, and even four years down the line, it dominates the way most of us interpret their highly publicized lives. Since celebrity gossip is really just an extension of dishing about your classmates in school, it was almost too perfect when the two were together, a perfect pop approximation of the post popular boy and girl at school hooking up and becoming something like the homecoming king and queen of pop culture for a few years. Justin was (and remains) douchey and doofy, but he is possessed of a charm that makes it easy to forgive even his most embarrassing mis-steps, and Britney is at once warm, simple, shrewd, and unknowable. They both evoke the sort of charismatic amiability of “popular” people, but also the cold calculation involved in currying such favor and maintaining their position of social power, which is alienating but also vaguely sympathetic if you recognize the emotional cost of being a public figure of such magnitude.
In this song from his latest album, full-time cartoonist and part-time songwriter James Kochalka presents his sympathetic, fannish fantasy vision of a post-break-up Britney who stumbles through her life despondently until settling into her current state of oblivion. Before the song breaks into its lengthy, majestic chorus, Kochalka’s version of Britney makes a lonely vow to become “her own best friend” before sadly acknowledging that the only person who can ever truly understand her is Justin Timberlake, Justin Timberlake, Justin Timberlaaaaaake!
Justin Timberlaaaaaake indeed. Some say best new music.