Since the success of his second solo album in 2006, FutureSex, LoveSounds, fans of Justin Timberlake have eagerly awaited for more of his smooth voice over Timbalands grammy-winning beats. And for a while it seemed as if he had put down the microphone to try his hand at acting. Many fans even spoke out, urging him to make music again. Now, after seven years, JT and Timbaland have done it again with The 20/20 Experience Part 1 of 2.
This album features 10 songs, with an additional two on the deluxe version, and it exemplifies quality over quantity. It has the usual ingredients expected from Justin, such as well produced beats and subtly provocative lyrics, but on the first playthrough, it is obviously a more mature sound than his previous albums. There is a nice blend of orchestra and beat machines in the opening track, Pusher Love Girl, which, like the title alludes, compares a woman to drugs and its usage. Influences of samba can be found on Let The Groove Get In, and then much like many JT songs, it transforms into something new, while still maintaining its original melody.
Suit and Tie, featuring Jay-Z, was at first my least favorite song on the album. There was something about the sound that was so new to my ears that I couldn’t process it at first. It is smooth, yet at the same time booming with bass. After listening to the album multiple ties, I’ve found myself excited to hear it come on next and singing along. It grows on you, and stays on you. In fact, the entire album grows on you and slowly goes from good to great. One of the strongest tracks is Mirrors, which is soul-bearing story with a sentimental hook and a memorable chorus. After five and a half minutes, it transforms into a repetitive confession, slowly turning down the energy of the album.
The 20/20 Experience Part 1 of 2 is soulful, jazzy and catchy with futuristic beats which JT fans will love. Most of the songs are longer than average (over seven minutes) and are completely worth their full playthrough. It fades to a close with the slow and easy, Blue Ocean Floor. It is his much appreciated return to music, and I’m sure I can speak for all of his supporters when I say that we look forward to more music, including part 2 of The 20/20 Experience.
Track Strength: 9/10
- JT’s “The 20/20 Experience 2″ Goes Platinum! (dimepiecelifestyle.com)
- LET’S FIX IT! – Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience Complete (abloggymess.com)