20/20 Experience

Justin Timberlake has come out of retirement with class and in a pure pop-genius form. 

“The 20/20 Experience” serves as his first musical release in six years. And pop music needed it. Since the genre has been taken over by “American Idol” winners and dozens of female singers trying to one-up Lady Gaga, it’s been in a dry spell.

There has been a lot of hype surrounding this album, but for the most part it has been subtle. A single released here, a new video for the single there. Jimmy Fallon had him on his show for a whole week where he was promoting the album pretty heavily and performing various songs off it. 

But the hype doesn’t overshadow anything. The album is nearly flawless. 

The musicality of “The 20/20 Experience is top-notch for a pop record. With the use of sampling, big bands “Suit & Tie,” and even some tribal, almost jungle sounding drums “Let the Groove Get In,” the record has all kinds of dimensions that surprise the listener. Timberlake, along with producer Timbaland, entwine the principles of R&B, soul and pop all into one style.

Every song, in its own unique way, is about love and music. “Pusher Love Girl” shows Timberlake in a high from being in love. “‘Cause now you got me hopped up on that Pusher Love,” Timberlake sings. “You’re my drug.”

“Spaceship Coupe” tells of Timberlake wanting to take an intergalactic date in a ship made for two. “Everybody’s looking for the flyest thing to say/But I just wanna fly away with you,” he sings. And on “Mirrors,” Timberlake claims to have found his second half. 

The album is an 80-minute dance that speeds up and slows down progressively. Only one track breaks under five minutes, and a few peak just after eight. 

Standout tracks of the album are “Let the Groove Get In,” “Don’t Hold the Wall” and “Suit & Tie,” which all keep the listener asking for more.

Timberlake raises the bar with this effort, challenging listeners to step outside what they know about pop and forget about it. “Are you comfortable, right there, right there? Let the groove get in, there there, right there.”

Rating: 5/5

 

JT Facts:

  • Timberlake’s last album, “FutureSex/LoveSounds” came out in September 2006.
  • Jimmy Fallon had Timberlake on his talk show for a whole week, where he performed various songs from his new album, in what Fallon called “Timberweek.” They also did various collaborations for what they called “The History of Rap.”
  • Timberlake also hosted and performed as the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live,” which was his fifth time, making him an honorary member of the Five-Timers Club. Various other special guests appeared, including Alec Baldwin, Dan Aykroyd, Martin Short and Chevy Chase.
  • Timberlake and Jay-Z are also embarking on a national stadium tour in the summer, called Legends of Summer tour. Frank Ocean and Kendrick Lamar are also scheduled to appear on the tour.
  • ?uestlove, drummer for The Roots, Fallon’s live band for his show, announced that there maybe a second half of “The 20/20 Experience” coming in November to make it a two-part album.

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