23 April 2007

Timberlake & Timbaland: Bad, and I think that they know

A few weeks ago, I was given a free ticket to go see Justin Timberlake at the John Paul Jones Arena here in Charlottesville. Check it out: I took some pictures. Secretly, I was hoping that JT would unlock a dormant girl crush -- that I would be so blown away by his dance moves that I would do nothing less than shriek with delight. Sadly, I was not moved to prepubescence, though I won't say I was altogether displeased. In fact, I now appreciate that Mr. Timberlake can play the guitar, piano and, oh yes, the keytar (though he played none of these with any virtuosic fervor) and the lights/screen-show were pretty entertaining. Indeed, Justin can move, but my favorite part of his set was the 30 minutes in which Timbaland took the stage to spin a strange mix of songs he has mostly produced (Ginuwine, Missy Elliott, Aaliyah) against a weird SciFi/anime/horror-film backdrop. The 13-year-olds became quiet.

I went to this concert 100% unfamiliar with Timberlake's newest album, Future Sex/Love Sounds and recognized maybe 4 songs he sang throughout the evening. The "interlude" to one song however, struck a familiar chord. I found myself bopping my head with the swirling, electric lyrics of *another* song I knew, but I couldn't quite place it. Only today did I realize it was Walter Meego's "Romantic" from their 2006 Romantic EP that I was remembering during JT's laser show. Making a side-by-side comparison, I realize that my brain was exactly right: did Timbaland (along with co-writers N. Hills and Timberlake) rip Meego off?

The song in question is "Lovestoned - I Think She Knows (Interlude)". [Video for "Lovestoned" here.] For some reason, someone posted just the interlude on YouTube, which is perfect evidence:

Listen to that, then compare it to this, the video for Walter Meego's "Romantic" (particularly from -3:20, on):

Besides the obvious (the tune and the video for "Romantic" being awesome), the similarity between the two tracks is remarkable. This requires measures more serious than a mere tighten-up; we're talking full-blown lock-down. Tim "Timbaland" Mosely, Nate Hills and Justin Timberlake, tighten-up! Walter Meego, sue those guys!


Jordan said...

the bees are on the what now?

Pepper said...

At first, I was distracted by the ninjas in the video, but on closer earspection, I can say with a high degree of certainty that both songs are using the same chord progression--but maybe not in the same key.

I think this happens more than we realize in pop music (the example is taken to the extreme in the case of the 12-bar blues), but I think Mandy has a point here.

mandy said...

Yep, Pep; you are totally right. This happens in pop music *all* the time and I concede that this could be mere coincidence. I am mostly suspicious of the melodic, electronic sensibilities evident in the Timberlake track -- a sound always present in WM's stuff, but hardly in JT's, or so I assume (<-- I deserve a T-U for assumption).

Jordan said...

Why the fax machine is nothing but a waffle iron with a phone attached!

(Apparently I can only comment via Simpsons references)