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Album Review
Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience Album Cover

Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience

Reviewed by
8.6
Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
Record Label: RCA Records
Release Date: March 19, 2013
My love for Justin Timberlake is a very recent affair. When FutureSex/LoveSounds exploded onto the scene back in 2006, I was 12 and the hyper-sexualized nature of that album did not appeal to my tween mind (the first "rock" band I listened to was Nickelback at 14 so take that as you will to give you an idea of what I listened to at 12). His music did not grace my ears until I heard about the teaser he did two months ago for his musical comeback. I am obviously a fair bit older than 12 now and my musical tastes have changed significantly, ranging from metal/hardcore to R&B; I decided to give Timberlake/ FutureSex a listen. I immediately got hooked and my intrigue had shifted to a love (and slight man crush) for Timberlake and his music. "Suit & Tie" (second track and first single off of The 20/20 Experience) was released a few days after the teaser and my love had grown into a full-fledged obsession (and full man crush).

More then two month later we have the almost masterpiece of an album that is The 20/20 Experience. Timberlake seems to have matured quite a bit in his seven year hiatus. The album is about love and sex, but it is much less forward about it than FutureSex/LoveSounds was. 20/20 is a much simpler, and classier, album relying on Timbaland's beats and Timberlake's (am I the only one that accidentally switches their names on a constant basis?) falsetto to carry the album. While FutureSex/LoveSounds "futuristic" beats were a new side to music in 2006, and The 20/20 Experience is an almost completely different album musically, it is "futuristic" in its own right; I cannot think of any other artist or album in music today that has the type of sound that Timberlake has created on 20/20.

However, its simplicity is bittersweet and is one of the few faults of 20/20. All of the songs (except "That Girl" and "Suit & Tie") are at least seven minutes long and because of this, they start to lose their charm and begin to become slightly mundane towards the end of them. The few exceptions are the refreshing Latin flair in "Let the Groove In" and the grand "Mirrors" which is arguably Timberlake's best song to date. Thankfully, Timberlake's voice has not lost its sleekness and sensuality which helps to alleviate the weariness that may creep in towards the end of certain songs.

Timberlakes voice is better than ever here with sweeping falsettos that will most likely make many girls swoon and have them feel like Justin's "pretty little thang". His voice perfectly compliments the airy beats that float around in 20/20. One of the best examples is the trancy and very unique "Blue Ocean Floor" which is an experience (no pun intended) in itself.

The 20/20 Experience falls just short of being a masterpiece. If the songs had a bit more variation and if the album took a few more chances this would be a true musical classic. As it is now, it is still a wonderful album and a truly unique experience (pun intended) for music today. It is a nod to real muscianship, a direct fight against the Top 40 "shake ya ass/twerking it for daddy/round those bitches up/Imma make you wet/make that booty clap" crap that fills our airwaves. Justin could have easily came in and made a pop album that would appeal to the masses, but he didn't. It is album that shows his true passion for music; even if I didn't like the album, I would still have the utmost respect for him for making the music that he wanted to make. And now that these rumors of The 20/20 Experience Vol. 2 have been confirmed, I have more to look forward to. Welcome back to music Justin; we missed you.

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Recommended If You LikeR&B, FutureSex/LoveSounds, luxurious falsetto voice of legend


Track Listing:
1. Pusher Love Gril
2. Suit & Tie
3. Don't Hold the Wall
4. Strawberry Bubblegum
5. Tunnel Vision
6. Spaceship Coupe
7. That Girl
8. Let the Groove Get In
9. Mirrors
10. Blue Ocean Floor
This review is a user submitted review from Niko John. You can see all of Niko John's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 2 of 2
06:25 AM on 03/28/13
#2
snowballeffect
Commissioner Gordon
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snowballeffect's Avatar
While I love Justin Timberlake and FutureSex/LoveSounds...I could not whatsoever justify listening to this album more than the painstaking first time.

It sounds to me like he devolved and this is something that he should have produced when he first emerged as a solo artist. I was extremely disappointed with this album.

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