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Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience (Album Review)


It’s been six whole years since former N-Sync lead singer Justin Timberlake mounted himself atop of pop charts with his internationally successful sophomore album FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006) and now he’s back with a brand new album titled The 20/20 Experience.

If you doubted for one second that Justin was finished with the music scene then he’s here to prove you wrong. Taking a six year break, Timberlake occupied his time by composing and producing for other popular artists such as Rihanna with “Rehab” (2008) and showcasing his acting chops, starring in films like The Social Network (2010), Bad Teacher (2011), and Friends with Benefits (2011). Getting back to business with music Timberlake picks right up where he left off and by that I mean joining forces with hit producer Timbaland to serve as executive producer for The 20/20 Experience. Timbaland has producing credit for all 10 tracks on the album and his signature sound can definitely be heard like no other on this album.

The bad of the album:

At times the album comes across too similar sounding in his last effort with FutureSex/LoveSounds. Each song rounds out at about 7 minutes or longer with the two songs in one tactic and melodic instrumentals produced by Timbaland. This tactic cemented his last studio album, and remains one of its gems. At points on the album the extended songs become tiresome.

The lyrical content on this album definitely doesn’t match the high quality of production. Justin should have perhaps hired some writers to work with this time around because many times the lyrical content comes across as lazy. This can be heard best on lead single “Suit & Tie” given the whole entire song really doesn’t makes sense, but then it kind of does. I really question Timberlake’s state of mind when most of the lyrics were composed for each song. Throughout the entire album there are 1-2 lines that make you ask yourself huh?

Lastly, the sound of the entire album has been compared to Timberlake’s contemporaries such as Miguel, Usher, and even Robin Thicke. It’s safe to say that Timberlake does channel a few of his contemporaries, but not in a way that makes you feel disgruntled about him doing so. He stays in his own lane, and can thank Timbaland for that because the production drives each song.

The good of the album:

The cover. The cover is intriguing and who wouldn’t be interested in listening to the album after one look at its cover? It’s loud, yet subtle, and uses very little color. The play off the title and the visionary microscope is a home-run with the A&R.

Justin Timberlake is evidently in a good place with life and that shines through the music. The album produces a feel good listen all the way through, even on the more mellow cuts. The Timberlake and Timbaland duo is one to watch for and definitely credit Timbaland for still having the magic in him. What the pair completed with this album sends a slight nostalgic, astronomical, and airy sound that causes the listener to feel in tuned and in sight with the music, hence the main reason behind the title The 20/20 Experience. Timberlake shared that he wanted listeners to be able to see the music this time around.  The promotion and marketing for this album have been close to flawless; it’s safe to say that Justin Timberlake will be a dominant factor at 2014’s Grammy Music Awards.

Timberlake and Biel. Just Timberlake is happily in love with his newlywed wife and actress Jessica Biel. The entire album seems to be a hidden dedication to her, as it’s evident that Jessica Biel has inspired Timberlake this time around, perhaps what got Justin to even return to music.

Tracks that hit: “Pusher Love Girl”, “Suit & Tie”,  “Strawberry Bubblegum”, “Tunnel Vision”, “That Girl”

Tracks that miss: “Let the Groove Get In”, “Blue Ocean Floor”

Tracks that almost hit: “Don’t Hold the Wall” “Spaceship Coupe”, “Mirrors”


Having announced that there will be a part two to The 20/20 Experience expecting to be released in November 2013 with 10 tracks as well to complete the actual “20/20 Experience”, Timberlake puts out a strong album that will have you talking some good, a few bad, and replaying a few tracks that became your instant favorites.

Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience is in stores and online now. With projected sales right around the 900K mark what are you waiting for to buy your copy?

-Editor of Reviews, Wil Rivers

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