[19] Justin Timberlake, ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling!’


J2 gasps.
J1: “Awesome. The best.”
J3: “It’s gonna win.”

Well, that’s clearly, mathematically untrue. They’re all singing and dancing now, proving this isn’t just dad disco, it’s kid disco too. Monumentally cheesy, but somehow irresistible, which probably isn’t where JT should be at this stage of his career. More and more pop stars are accelerating towards Vegas, aren’t they? Sam Smith started about half a mile outside.

There are two things that really get me with this song: The hurtling chorus bonus line “All those things I shouldn’t do” that keeps it flying; the phrase “It goes electric wavy”. That’s charming, a bit ‘timey-wimey’. I’d dance to this in a really dad way if I still knew people who’d invite me to a wedding.

[7] Justin Timberlake, ‘Mirrors’


Once you’ve got over the initial disappointment that the intro doesn’t lead into a Steve Winwood 80s CD-rock wad-waver, you’ll find ‘Mirrors’ is soppy R&B at its crunchiest, capturing my girls hearts as they “Uh-oh” and clap hands right up until the fifth minute, when it starts to feel like Timberlake’s bent on soundtracking his entire six-year absence in real time.

The first few minutes is about as tight a pop song as he’s delivered this year, in a comeback that’s otherwise designed to make Arcade Fire’s Reflektor feel like a masterclass in 60s beat-group concision. I can’t get too het up about these grossly indulgent records when they’re creaking with ideas – and The 20/20 Experience is, some ordinary, some inspired. It’s better than heaving your sorry bones all the way to track 14 on an immaculately presented, identikit One Direction album. Everyone could use an editor, but some editors’ jobs are easier than most.

[18] Boy George, ‘King Of Everything’


They all came back, David Bowie, Justin Timberlake, Adam Ant, Boy George, all these pretty things who still had something to say. Boy George’s This Is What I Do shared qualities with Dion’s Born To Be With You – shooting for redemption, cleaning up the old act – just with rather more sunshine reggae interludes. In King Of Everything (“Put down the booze/Let the demons win the fight/I drop my gloves to the ground”, “Tempting myself time and time again/Like self-destruction was so cool”), George was contrite but bombastic, with a tingler of a bridge and a gloriously lived-in voice to lift the song out of the Oasis swamp.

Some people don’t think he managed that. “It’s a bit slow and drooping,” says Junior. But surely that’s its stately power? Junior 2 shakes her head. Junior 3 has fallen asleep.

Justin Bieber, ‘Boyfriend’

Justin Bieber

Junior is seven today. And this is her first record – well, the album is. Maybe her record-buying development’s been arrested by Jukebox Junior because you’d expect her to have her own records by now, wouldn’t you? Sure, she has Disney Princess compilations and nursery rhyme CDs, but she doesn’t need to go out and buy (or ask for) One Direction or Rihanna albums because nice people send them to Daddy anyway.

So Justin Bieber’s Believe will be the answer to that first record question in years to come and it’ll all be because Bieber’s UK label thought Junior’s dad would rip it and spray it all over the Internet, so they didn’t give it to him.

This is just streaming. It doesn’t count.

To my ears this is a pale Trousersnake retread, but I just don’t get it, do I? Junior does the patented family shoulder roll and Junior 2 already knows all the words. It’s quite chilling how the Cult of the Belieber has infiltrated my house while I was trying to win the family over with clean edits of Azealia Banks tracks. This is just a taste of my powerlessness to come.

[29] Justin Timberlake, ‘SexyBack’


You have to admire the Trousersnake chutzpah. Ex-boyband clothes horses shouldn’t be able to swagger over to the cred side, and then there’s the aplomb with which he did it: Justified was convincing enough as a first foray; FutureSexLoveSounds was so surefooted you could believe Justin had pimped since the pram.

SexyBack isn’t really about wild melodic invention, just a groove that has to move. Real schmoove. Timbaland is the brains, but Timberlake is the big lusty balls.

Junior says: “It’s funny, especially at the start. And your dancing.” Can’t say fairer than that.

Best bit: “V.I.P.” All slack picked up, not that there was much in the first place.

[19] Snoop Dogg featuring Charlie Wilson & Justin Timberlake, ‘Signs’

This was a big hit in utero, so I’m expecting some outlandish reactions. But smiles will do. And yes, it’s a Snoop Dogg record, not a Timberlake one as some mothers believe. It might’ve finished higher in this chart, instead it’s one of those tunes that diminishes over time – a sit-up-and-listener when you first hear it but, by the time it’s over, you’re staring at the Christmas tree.