To say 2013 has been Justin Timberlake’s year would be an understatement. The highly-anticipated March 2013 release of “The 20/20 Experience” was Timberlake’s first album since “FutureSex/LoveSounds” in 2006.
Always up for collaborations with other top-name artists, “The 20/20 Experience” featured producers Timbaland, Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon and Jay-Z. But not long after the release of “The 20/20 Experience” in March, Timberlake announced there would be a second part to his chart-topping album, “The 20/20 Experience- 2 of 2,” which dropped Sept. 30.
The anticipation leading up to part 1 of “The 20/20 Experience” was hard to top. In March, Timberlake hosted “Saturday Night Live,” and then appeared and performed on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” every day leading up to the album release. Fallon made the week a tribute to Timberlake and officially declared it “Timberweek.”
Timberlake and Fallon’s new video “#Hashtag” went viral online Sept. 24. “Runner Runner,” starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck, premiered in theaters Sept. 25. Needless to say, Timberlake got a lot of album buzz from his acting career.
Timberlake recorded both parts of “The 20/20 Experience” in a 20-day period. Timberlake is known for his longer track length, which he established with his first album and has track times lasting over 11 minutes.
The first track, “Give Me What I Don’t Know (I Want)” delivers Timberlake’s signature pop sound. The next track, “True Blood” wasn’t my favorite. It’s upbeat, but it has a lot of effects that distract from the vocals.
“Cabaret” brought a smoother, soulful sound at first and transitioned into several minutes of rap. Timberlake definitely focuses more on an R&B and rap sound in this album. This is especially true in “TKO” and “Murder,” which features Drake and Jay-Z. But, more of Timberlake’s Southern alternative rock sound came across in “The 20/20 Experience Part 1,” which is very different from his new album.
There are sure to be several hits on this album, the first being “Take Back the Night,” which topped the charts in July. Timberlake and Jay-Z’s popular hit “Holy Grail” was also released in July, but is not featured on Timberlake’s album.
One of the better tracks is “Drink You Away.” The more alternative, soulful sound was refreshing and surprising after mainly pop and R&B sounds for the first half of the album.
The final track, “Not a Bad Thing,” is like his hit “Mirrors” and goes back to the old school Timberlake we grew up with. The track reminds us of his N’Sync days.
Don’t be mistaken. Timberlake definitely brought sexy back and took it to a whole new level this time. This album is hands-down more sensual and explicit, with only four clean tracks.
Part 2 of “The 20/20 Experience” may not top his first album. JT reinvented his image with 20/20 part 1, which was pleasantly surprising. Because of this, part two was a little more predictable. If you loved “Suit and Tie,” “Mirrors” or “Take Back the Night,” the album is definitely worth checking out. It’s already the number-one selling album on iTunes. Not too bad after releasing another number-one album only six months ago.
Justin Timberlake never fails to deliver. With two world tours this year, two upcoming movies and probably countless more appearances on Jimmy Fallon and SNL, what could possibly be next?