Justin Timberlake may be my favorite male pop singer.
I, like most folks on earth, have been a major fan of “Hallelujah” (written by Leonard Cohen) for a long time, and, like most people, I came to it backwards. I first heard it from Rufus Wainwright, whose cover appears on the Shrek soundtrack. I then rediscovered it on Jeff Buckely’s haunting album Grace. I finally completed the circle when I later immersed myself in the music of Leonard Cohen himself.
Buckley’s version is the most haunting with long, sweet, high-pitched howls and pleas of Hallelujah that mirror the inward longing of a human soul perfectly. Justin Timberlake likes that version too, and that’s what he was channeling when he worked with songwriter Matt Morris to rehearse for the Hope for Haiti Now telethon.
When the song came on Friday night on the telethon, I wasn’t watching the screen, and I had no idea who it was singing one of my favorite songs. Many of the performances during the telethon had been a bit rusty around the corners and off on pitch or tempo, but this one was dead on, and it was gorgeous.
Now, I’ve liked JT since “SexyBack” (which, btw, was brilliant), and he’s earned a bigger place in my heart since his comedic talent became apparent in his numerous television appearances last year, but once I realized that he both liked the song “Halleljuah” AND could sing it well? It was pretty devastating. I now know how all those 14-year-old girls felt back when he was a scream-inducing member of N’SYNC.
Apparently I’m not the only one smitten. Justin Timberlake’s “Hallulujah” is tearing up the itunes charts, and the video’s been watched almost a million times on YouTube.
You can download it now, by clicking here, and help Haiti at the same time!
Want to know more about “Hallelujah”? Educate your ears with it’s musical evolution:
CLICK HERE to download Leonard Cohen’s version.
CLICK HERE to download Justin Timberlake’s version.