Justin Timberlake's 'Take Back the Night' channels Michael Jackson

Justin Timberlake performs during the Legends of the Justin Timberlake performs during the Legends of the Summer tour at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. (July 19, 2013) Photo Credit: Getty Images

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Justin Timberlake's new single, "Take Back the Night" (RCA), shows what happens when you draw too much from your influences. "Night" owes so much to Michael Jackson's "Rock With You" and The Jacksons' "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" -- right down to the horn flourishes -- that going back to the originals makes more sense. After all, those songs have a far greater sense of joy than Timberlake's preoccupation with laid-back cool. That said, it does work as a nice retro diversion.

You also may be interested in: