Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience

      I have no shame in admitting that I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Justin Timberlake’s newest album since I first heard he was doing an album. The teeny bopper in me squealed with joy at the idea of another album by the Timberlake but the adult in me wondered how he was going to outdo his last album “FutureSex/LoveSounds,” a very sexy and mature album from the former boy-bander.

I finally got my hands on “The 20/20 Experience”  today and couldn’t wait another second to listen to it. His first single “Suit and Tie” is a cheeky and playful song featuring Jay-Z.  With big horns and a booming soul vibe, this was a great choice for a comeback single (not that he ever really left).  My only problem with this old school diddy is that it is EVERYWHERE. Target commericial, Bud Light commercials, radio, television, everywhere! The song is about 2 months old and I’m already just about sick of it.  I’m not going to lie, I almost didn’t make it through the song while listening to this album because I’ve probably already  heard it 10 times today.

I just heard the second single “Mirrors” today when I got the album. Somehow, I manage to miss this little gem on the radio. It reminds me a lot of Timberlake’s single “Cry me a River” due to the beat and the beat boxing in the background. This song is a classic Timberlake slow jam; seductive, smooth and full of heartfelt emotion. I love his upbeat songs but Justin Timberlake always seems to execute ballads perfectly.

My favorite track on the album (so far) is “Don’t Hold the Wall”. The song’s intro sounds a lot like a Motown group harmonizing then leads into a weird but funky dance beat. It’s hard to really describe the sound of this song and why I like it so much.  The song has very primal feel, mixing in dance grooves with what sounds like African chants. The track also features a booming bass and regular collaborator Timberland throughout the whole song. Sounds like the weirdest mix ever but actually comes together to make something that sounds so right.

The whole album consists of tracks that are five minutes or longer.  If you thought long songs were only for classic rock you thought wrong. In fact, there are only three songs out of twelve that are shorter than five minutes.  There is a downside to this though; while the tracks on the album are fantastic it seems like after a while, the rest of the song is filler to make the songs longer. End a song where it feels right to end it, don’t feel like you have to drag it out JT!  There’s no need to make an epic “Bohemian Rhapsody”-esque  track out of something that doesn’t make sense after 3 minutes.

All in all, the wait was well worth it. The album is sensual, funky, with a soul/R&B vibe. It seems that Timberlake hasn’t lost his touch and has not gone back to the immature boy band music that created him.  To top off this night, I just heard that we can expect another album by Justin Timberlake in November. And the anticipation begins again…

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