updated 05/15/2014 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 05/15/2014 AT 12:00 AM ET
For a while in the early 2000s, it looked like Justin Timberlake was actively trying to be Michael Jackson, so the video for “Love Never Felt So Good,” the new single off Jackson’s posthumous album Xscape, seems perfectly fitting.
The video looks like a callback to Jackson’s groundbreaking 1991 video for “Black or White,” which featured Jackson mirroring moves from Thai and Native American dancers, among others.
Here, though, the script’s been flipped: Now it’s a rotating cast of dancers, led by Timberlake, who are imitating Jackson’s most famous routines from videos like “Smooth Criminal,” “Billie Jean” and “Bad.”
Obviously, JT gets pride of place, but the true star of the clip is Michael: Watching him shimmy, shake and sing through years of videos is the real pleasure here.
“Love Never Felt So Good” was co-written with Paul Anka in 1983; it crashed the Billboard Hot 100 after just three days of tracking. To quote Alec Baldwin quoting Tracy Morgan: “Michael, man. He was powerful.”
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