Justin Timberlake
The 20/20 Experience


4.5
superb

Review

by El. Psy. Congroo. USER (7 Reviews)
March 13th, 2013 | 1310 replies


Release Date: 03/15/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: THE pop album of 2013.

Perhaps it's because I was spoiled by the soulful R&B that my mom listened to, and felt the passion in their voices even when I was in elementary school, but commercial pop is tainted for me. I remember what it once was, and I miss feeling that emotion that showed that they actually cared about what they were singing. I'm not so naive to think that there aren't gems in the genre, but I can't say that I'm willing to wade through that swamp to find it.

Which is why Justin Timberlake's new album, 'The 20/20 Experience', is so nice--because like 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' before it, no one has to search through the mud to find this--Timberlake is, and since N'Sync has been, at the forefront of pop music. It's a wonder that he didn't just drop an album full of club hits and call it a day. Lord knows he could've, and the public would've eaten it up, and he'd still be nominated for a Grammy, and the system would be in equilibrium for another cycle. But no; like Kanye, Timberlake reminds us that beyond the acting and clothes and part-time SNL hosting, that he has the exact same ear for good music that we do. MUSIC that is his first and foremost passion, and he shows just how deep his love for the art runs on this, (only) his third album.

Actually...maybe he shows it a bit too much. No doubt that the biggest criticism of the album is that it's HUGE, with a total run time of 70 minutes spread out among only 10 tracks. That's a lot for anyone to take in, but for fans of pop music, that's almost torturous. Those of us who can appreciate a well-crafted song or three, however, will find that all that extra time can be well-spent admiring each element of the album that make it such an accomplishment. Go ahead and try to point out all of the homages that JT has given to the Pop, Soul and R&B greats of the past--The Isley Brothers, who run deep the grooves of "That Girl;" the subdued guitar solo in the middle of "Spaceship Coupe" that calls to mind the bridge in the middle of Usher's "U Got It Bad;" the structural similarity that "Pusher Love Girl" has to Billy Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones." And then just allow yourself to be floored by Timbaland's phenomenal production--make no mistake, it's his crisp and appropriate mixing and sampling that allows these songs to take old-school class and present it to those looking for modern pop hits. Every time I listen to "That Girl," I marvel at how Timbaland and Timberlake managed to put a song like that together and make it enjoyable for both myself, a college aged, pop-music-hating cynic, and my 60-something-year-old step-dad, an old-skool DJ who I'll readily admit has better taste in music than I do. The baby sounds in the middle of 'Spaceship Coupe" delightfully shouts out to Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody?" (another superlative production job from Timbaland). And that LTD sample in "Suit and Tie" is, for lack of a better word, perfect.

And that's the reason why Justin Timberlake's album is such a triumph--because it takes cues from a time when pop music had meaning and feeling, and creates something that can be enjoyed by three generations of people. Because you can dance to "Let The Groove Get In" if you want to, or you can just bob your head to "Suit and Tie" if you want to, or you can reminisce about the JT of old as you listen to "Mirrors" if you want to...OR, you can sit and enjoy the entire album alone if you want to (the latter of which I feel has been left off the priority list of pop music for far too long). It's such a triumph because it was the first album since Kanye West's '...Twisted Fantasy', and the first pop album since Janelle Monae's 'The Archandroid' that made me shake the stereotypes I had of the genre, and sit down and appreciate it as something worthy of being called art. Timberlake and Timbaland put their heart and soul into this album, and they wanted us to know it. And while it's still not perfect (really, that run-time is hard to deal with, and I could live without 'Mirrors'), it's the closest thing to perfection that pop music has gotten in a good long while, and if Justin does win a Grammy, he'll have truly earned it.


Choice Tracks
-"Pusher Love Girl"
-"Suit and Tie"
-"Spaceship Coupe"
-"That Girl"



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user ratings (1173)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Masochist
March 12th 2013


8064 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It's streaming on iTunes for free.

Kind of a bloated review, and for an album that I had no intention whatsoever of reviewing. I apologize right now. Please let me know what you think though...this is only my 6th review (despite what my count says).

And be thorough and honest, that's all I ask.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Kris.
March 12th 2013


12404 Comments


i wanna make hella babies to this

Cygnatti
March 12th 2013


21383 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good rating

Funeralopolis
March 12th 2013


11618 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well colour me skeptical

Digging: Black Milk - If There's a Hell Below

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2013


15053 Comments

Album Rating: 2.9

"Personal Rating - 3.75
Public Rating -4.5"

what

Lakes.
March 12th 2013


28641 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

sup robertbona

Digging: Laked God and Yak - Butt Pirate Bible Force

breakingthefragile
March 12th 2013


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The entire first paragraph SCREAMS "I'm fourteen years old".

YoYoMancuso
March 12th 2013


11173 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this actually sounds kinda promising

Cygnatti
March 12th 2013


21383 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

is that such a bad thing?

Cygnatti
March 12th 2013


21383 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

""Personal Rating - 3.75
Public Rating -4.5"

what"

agreed

East Hastings
March 12th 2013


4392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

first paragraph definitely nullifies any possibility of the rest of the review being ok

stopbanningchamberd
March 12th 2013


201 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

shit is cash

Masochist
March 12th 2013


8064 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

""Personal Rating - 3.75
Public Rating -4.5"

what"

agreed


Seconded. I changed it.

Also, I hate pop music. That's the reason I wrote the review. I work at a place where everything we play blends together in a mix of Ke$ha, Nikki Minaj and Skrillex. Most of the genre (the MAINSTREAM genre, which is what I was getting at) isn't my cup of tea.

That I even reviewed this is mind boggling to me; that a pop-singer paid homage to the R&B singers of old is such a relief. I do ask that you give the rest of the review a chance.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 12th 2013


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

first paragraph is pointless, i'd get rid of it. also the last sentence and the personal/public rating stuff

Recspecs
March 12th 2013


9829 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

OOOOOO

OOOOOOOOOOOO

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2013


15053 Comments

Album Rating: 2.9

doesnt your personal rating become public when u post it (_( )_) hegelian dialectic

YankeeDudel
March 12th 2013


9313 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

am i really going to have to listen to this album. AM I REALLY????

Digging: The The - Soul Mining

fromtheinside
March 12th 2013


18854 Comments


OMG GOING TO DOWNLOAD RIGHT NOW.

completely agree with the summary

Digging: Psicosis - The Crippled Machine That Moves the World

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013


50695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I promise to not go on about how pop music sucks and actually review the album based solely on its merits in my review sup

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me in the River

stopbanningchamberd
March 12th 2013


201 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yayyyy



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