MUSIC WORLD: My Review of Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” + Download Link
Well surprise, surprise. After 7 years of virtual silence, Justin Timberlake shocked and delighted fans when he announced the release of new solo material. And not just that, but a collaboration and tour with Jay-Z. AND Timbaland was once again his partner in crime. Check my review below. *Note* This is a review of the standard album without the deluxe tracks.
If you were a fan of the sound and feel of FutureSex/LoveSounds, you’ll find The 20/20 Experience borrows a similar structure, but with a more mature sound. This is completely fitting since Justin has grown up and he’s a married man now.
It doesn’t make for a boring listening experience, at all. Each track displays Justin‘s falsetto and the dual listening experience of a beat drop after you think the song is complete. This leads to 95% of the album consisting of songs longer than 6 minutes. To that, he said
When we were making the record I said, ‘If Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin can do 10-minute songs and Queen can do 10-minute songs then why can’t we?’ We’ll figure out the radio edits later.”
But it works. The album starts with “Pusher Love Girl.” Justin open the album comparing love to the best drugs money can buy. The beat drops into a more bass-heavy breakdown of the song. The polarizing “Suit & Tie” makes an appearance next. And sandwiched between other tracks of the album, it sounds great. Jay-Z serves as the only feature on the album, outside of some Timbaland adlibs.
Skip “Don’t Hold the Wall” and revel in “Strawberry Bubblegum” a little bit. Swim in it, immerse yourself in the sounds. Justin croons about how much he loves the taste and the smell of… It’s a feel good, finger-snapping track about how Justin loves you just the way you are. Yup, he’s talking to you. Well at least, I thought he was talking to me. “Tunnel Vision” picks up the pace a bit, but then an appearance of “Spaceship Coupe” slows everything down again and is an early favorite. The breakdown gives me life! The album continues to show that Justin isn’t making music for TRL-aged teenagers anymore. He’s making the music for those of us that actually remember TRL. He’s grown up with us. “That Girl” is a great example of this. Check “Spaceship Coupe” below.
The album kinda takes a turn I wasn’t expecting or asking for with “Let the Groove Get In.” And the lackluster “Mirrors” follows. If it weren’t for “Blue Ocean Floor,” I’d tell you to end the album after “That Girl.” But the fluid “Blue Ocean Floor” ends the non-deluxe version of the album nicely. It’s like placing a shiny blue bow on the entire package of an experience. All in all, Justin Timberlake has made such a departure from his N’Sync days, I almost forget he was in a boy band. He has solidified himself as someone to pay attention to, in music, while still challenging the status quo of a radio hit. It was recently announced that another 10 tracks, presented as The 20/20 Experience 2, will premiere before the end of the year. I’m excited to hear the complete package.
My Overall Rating: 4/5… Justin Timberlake presents a matured package of songs with excellent production from Timbaland. It’s an entire listening experience meant to fully engage listeners.
Standout Tracks: Pusher Love Girl, Spaceship Coupe, That Girl
Skippable Tracks: Let the Groove Get In, Mirrors
You can download the album HERE.