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Justin Timberlake new album review: The 20/20 Experience
It was sudden. We were excited. Then not sure (initial reaction to Suit and Tie). Then the Brits happened (OMG Mirrors) and that was it.
Justin Timberlake was officially back.
This week his long-awaited comeback album, The 20/20 Experience, is released in the UK. But with such high expectations, have we been left disappointed, or has our favourite boy-band-boy-turned-solo-artist-supreme delivered the goods to the bar-setting level we’ve come to expect from him? And is he just being cheeky holding off Volume 2 of The 20/20 Experience until November?!
10 initial thoughts about The 20/20 Experience
1. It’s not exactly like his old stuff that we know and love *slight panic*
2. *Panic over* It’s still very good though. He just clearly didn’t fancy making the same old tunes (obvs)
3. Saying that, we do like the ones which give a wee nod to the sounds of his older material (that’s pretty much a given)
4. The album is very soulful on the whole but with signature Timbaland adlibs (some a bit weird/unnecessary) and stonking bassy/synthy bits interlaced with a truckload of awesome strings and brass sections which lend the modern urban edge a level of sophisticated instrumental elegance and old-school charm.
5. Blimey, the tracks are long. Too long for our liking. Nearer to radio edit length would have been adequate as they felt a bit toooo dragged out. The whole interlude thing on FutureSex/LoveSounds was cool but this has stretched that kind of concept a bit too far.
6. We would have put Mirrors earlier on in the tracklist ‘cause it’s the best song on the album. Massively anthemic and the handclap-inducing section towards the latter part of the song is bloody great.
7. There is the odd set of simile/metaphor lyrics that are a bit cringey (but maybe that’s because we think romance is dead and we’re scrooges) but then songs like Mirrors and Blue Ocean Floor come and wash that notion away (pun intended).
8. There’s a fair few references to drugs/addiction but worry not, it seems that JT is indeed just intoxicated on love. The album is mostly romantic, with a few ‘sexier’ bits thrown in. His joy at being in love is apparent in a similar vein to Robin Thicke’s I-married-a-hot-woman-and-I’m-so-in-love-and-ima-tell-y’all-about-it-in-song kinda style.
9. We haven’t listened to it 1,000,000 times yet so we may change our mind but it’s not our favourite JT album at this point. He’s always going to be ahead of the pack in terms of pop/R&B crossover though.
10. The 20/20 Experience is more experimental than Timberlake’s previous offerings which may alienate some of his more hardcore pop fans but it’s still a well-crafted record that reflects his life and career progression.
And just when you thought you wanted more than 10 tracks from JT, Questlove came out with this golden nugget revelation of a tweet at the weekend:
"Spoiler alert. 20/20 Vol 2 comes out in Nov. (10 songs now...10 songs later = 20 vision)"
Mirrors, Pusher Love Girl, Tunnel Vision
LEAST FAVOURITE SONG:
DANCE-Y SONGS (which should have featured Gloria Estefan):
Let the Groove Get In
SONGS WITH COOL LYRICS:
Mirrors, Blue Ocean Floor
What do you think of Justin Timberlake's new album?
Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results
- Love it! Best thing he's ever done.
- I like it but not as much as his old stuff.
- Not sure. Maybe it'll grow on me.
- Oh dear, I don't like it at all.
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