The continued dominance of Mumford and Sons wasn’t the only injustice at last night’s 2013 Brit Awards: Justin Timberlake, who could’ve walked on water around the time of 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds (in the “SexyBack” video, he leaped onto a balcony), looked alarmingly human. Of course, in 2013 that wasn’t really a surprise: The 20/20 Experience on March 19, his ’40s retro first single “Suit & Tie” lacks his usual oomph, and a stuffy black-and-white performance at the Grammy Awards was redeemed only thanks to a David Fincher-directed music video. At the Brits, JT performed the soppy power ballad “Mirrors,” which he first posted online Grammy night as an eight-minute epic with once-futuristic Timbaland production.
The black-and-white, the beatboxing, and the track’s unnecessary last three minutes were all blessedly gone at the Brits. And the big band’s energy almost helped put so-so “Mirrors” over. But as Timberlake strolled the show looking like a maître d’, with his slick hair and tux, a song with a central lyric that cluelessly flips “I’ll Be Your Mirror” as a puzzling pickup line climaxed with a music-drops-out clap-along that more closely resembled Chicago’s “You’re the Inspiration” or REO Speedwagon’s “I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore.” Which, not gonna hate the state-fair monster ballads, but that probably wasn’t what Timberlake had in mind.
These clips keep getting taken down, but try watching a fairly lo-fidelity video above, or sit through a commercial and watch a better video rip over at Mr. World Premiere.