ARJANWRITES.COM — Two Disney starlets are reunited. Justin Timberlake has teamed with fellow pop star Christina Aguilera on their “Stripped/Justified” summer tour.
The tour is not the first collaboration for Timberlake and Aguilera. They previously worked together as Mouseketeers on Disney’s “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the early ’90s. The show has been a fertile breeding ground for the recent teen pop movement, including Disney veterans Britney Spears and some of Timberlake’s fellow *NSYNC members, who are planning to reunite with him for future albums.
The time has come for Timberlake and Aguilera, both 22, to shed their saccharine Disney images. Both want to prove to critics that they have grown up beyond their pop tarty peers and show audiences what really is on their minds as young adults.
Timberlake’s mature and buff appearance on Rolling Stone’s January cover made him an instant sex symbol, giving both teenage girls and gay guys plenty to drool over. Despite his mainstream appeal, the singer has often shown appreciation for his gay following in the media.
In a recent interview with NEXT Magazine, the Tennessee native puts the hype surrounding his persona in perspective. He says, “Music is music; it’s the universal language. And whether you’re gay, straight, black, white, you know, whatever, you like what you like. And I’m flattered by anybody who likes my sound.”
Fellow mouseketter Aguilera burst onto the scene in 2000 with the catchy “Genie In A Bottle.” After her tame debut album, Aguilera showed her edgier side on her sophomore effort “Stripped.”
Produced by lesbian Linda Perry, Aguilera exhibited a bombastic mix of rock and pop while wearing outfits that often showed more skin than style.
Despite her faulty fashion record, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) honored the singer for including gay and transgender images in her “Beautiful” music video earlier this year.
At a recent show in Atlanta, the singers did not share the stage simultaneously, but instead followed each other with Aguilera opening the show.
Set in a virtual strip joint, Aguilera kicks off with a rocky version of “Dirty,” a pompous spectacle that does very little to show off the singer’s vocal abilities. She dances, squirms and rolls over the stage accompanied by her troupe of dancers.
After a brief intermission, Timberlake greeted a cheering audience by jumping on the stage wearing all-white street gear. He kicked off his portion of the show with “Rock Your Body,” which sent the crowd into a frenzy.
The singer’s solo repertoire is slim, so most of his set is filled with the bulk of his chart-topping solo debut “Justified” plus some *NSYNC hits such as “Gone” and “Girlfriend.”
Timberlake attempts to create a show that is not just visually compelling with dance and light-effects. His band also features a full horn section and gospel background vocalists to bring his hip-hop infused pop hits to life.
The use of rich instrumental arrangements has a downfall, however. The crooner often lacks vocal strengths and gets overpowered by the orchestration. This is painfully obvious during a chaotic performance of “Cry Me A River.”
Despite the concert’s flaws, it is the enthusiasm and vigor of these two young performers that make this a worthwhile evening of carefree entertainment.
(Photo by Max Vadekul – Story is licensed under a Creative Commons License – http://www.arjanwrites.com)