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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 August 2006, 07:21 GMT 08:21 UK
Timberlake eyes musical greatness
By Michael Osborn
Enertainment reporter, BBC News

Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake says his new album is more adventurous
US singer Justin Timberlake is preparing to release a follow-up to his debut album Justified, which sold nine million copies worldwide and earned him Grammy and Brit awards.

Futuresex/Lovesounds has been four years in the making, during which time he hit the headlines for playing a part in Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction".

The 25-year-old from Tennessee is anxious that the new work will emulate the success of his first offering.

"After the first album did really well, I thought I'd better not mess a good thing up now there are people waiting, wanting and watching.

"How do you compete with the first album? The answer is you don't - you can't recreate a moment. You have to make a new one," he says.

'More epic'

Timberlake, who started his pop career with boy band N'Sync, was keen to make a record which was "equally progressive".

"You hear music on the radio and it all tends to sound the same, so you want to push it as far as you can," says the musician.

"I'm happy with it. If Justified was dipping a toe in the water, this record is jumping in. It's more epic and broad."

Justin Timberlake is a two-time Grammy award winner
She's made a career out of being a chameleon... but I'd like to be known as an all-round songwriter
Justin Timberlake on Madonna

Timberlake's musical success - and his relationships with Britney Spears and actress Cameron Diaz - have made him one of the most recognisable faces on the planet.

The singer is contemplating his long-term future in the industry, with a third album already in mind.

"If I do this for the rest of my life, it will always have to be a challenge. I don't know if I'll do 12-15 albums over the span of my career, but every time I make one I'll be fully committed to it.

"It's important to show people different colours if you're able to do so," adds the performer.

Timberlake considers Madonna as an example of musical greatness and longevity, and explores whether his own career could last decades.

'Off the cuff'

"She's made a career out of being a chameleon. She puts the right people in the room and is a great executive producer of her albums and her image," he says.

"But I'd like to be known as an all-round songwriter. I put my image together after I've made the music.

"Madonna is a lot smarter than I am, deciding she wants to go, say, disco. I have trouble being so specific. With me it flows from the gut and off the cuff a little more."

Justin Timberlake
The singer will be hoping to top the album charts for a second time

Timberlake adds that a Madonna-like ability to deliver a finished package may come as he advances in years, but feels his career must offer "more than one sound".

"For music to really sink beneath people's skin, you have to take time away, really craft it and make it something special," he says.

The singer, who sold two million copies of his first album in the UK alone, calls it "a home away from home", and applauds British music as being the "most fashionable and forward-thinking since the beginning of rock'n'roll".

And he praises the Arctic Monkeys, saying it would certainly be a "departure" if his music was influenced by the British rock band.

"Because I do something else, I like listening to things that I don't do."

Futuresex/Lovesounds is released in the UK on 11 September, preceded by new single Sexyback on 28 August.

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