Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
- Artist: Justin Timberlake
- Album: The 20/20 Experience
- Label: RCA Records
- Year of Release: 2013
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: carlita on 2013-03-19
After observing the utter hype domination of major television and virtual mainstreams by arguably 2013's true triple threat Entertainer of the Year Justin Timberlake, I can now sit down again and properly listen to his latest album, The 20/20 Experience, dropping today, March 19th. Taking advantage of the smart marketing ploy to soft launch preview the album on iTunes early, I checked it out for free initially.
To set up this review officially, Justin's music and I go waaaaay back. I'm talking prepubescent "Mickey Mouse Club on the Disney Channel" back. I know ALL the EPs, the N'Sync albums, guest features, solo albums (have concert DVDs and everything) etc. If a hypothetical protest existed to get Justin back in the studio after 2006's brilliant Future Sex/Love Sounds (FSLS), I'd have been there in spirit. I was feening like a "Pusher Love Girl" (a strong opening track) along with the rest of his fan base for more dance tracks and ballads like only he can deliver that are so ridiculously catchy, even haters can't help but sing along.
Gambling on the ballsy album format of 10 songs around six-eight minutes each instead of releasing 15-18 songs around four minutes each, the difference is felt immediately. I appreciate the risk-taking but I found myself fast-forwarding towards the end of songs around the four minute mark anyway so the additional minutes seemed superfluous. When I first heard "Suit &Tie", the first big-band Vegas Rat Pack visually inspired single, I was not overwhelmed. The horns and "fatty" discussions proved distracting.
Tag-teaming with his tried and true partner Timbaland once more, my fav tracks reflected FSLS V2.0 style like trademark Indian influenced "Don't Hold the Wall" and "Strawberry Bubblegum" (including the beat that sounded like something I had on my Casio keyboard in the 80's). Straying from the rest, dance track tailor-made for da clubs, "Let the Groove Get In" made this Latina "Señorita" want to shake it and "Rock my body".
Seven years is a long time. It wasn't a complete music hiatus but it was significant enough. People grow, fall in love, get married and want to express their love. Yes, I get it. Did I expect to get the exact same albums as before? Nope, and even so, it would be worshipped and critiqued just the same. The lyrics (not finding "the alien in me" nor "my mirror staring back at me") just didn't land as effectively this time around (though I know there are choice ones on other albums). One thing that's crystal clear (pun intended), Justin's star power is undeniable as this will be rabidly consumed on global levels very few can reach-from "blue ocean floors" to orbital moons only reachable by "Spaceship coupes".
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