Justin Timberlake had massive success with his second studio album ‘Futuresex Lovesounds’ which spun the hit singles ‘Sexyback’, ‘My Love’, ‘What Goes Around’ and ‘LoveStoned’. The expectations were always going to be high for JT when he released the first part of ‘The 20/20 Experience’ in March but it didn’t deliver the magic we all expected. The album fell flat with its sound and failed to create moments which his previous albums had done successfully. The highlight was ‘Mirrors’ which ended up getting flogged on radio.
Part 2 of ‘The 20/20 Experience’ is released this week and again there is so much hype surrounding this release however it lives up and succeeds all expectations. This album starts off very upbeat and then half way through the mood changes to quite dark and is notably slower. However this is a good mix and works very well as the two sounds balance each other out. I found that ‘The 20/20 Experience Part 1’ was very serious and quite slow throughout the majority of the album and it just dragged out. Whereas Part 2 does have a few slow songs but they have such drastic sound changes throughout the duration that you stay hooked.
Justin Timberlake is known for making lengthy songs with many melodic changes and this album is not different. One of the album highlights is ‘True Blood’ which is a 9 minute song with a really funky urban/dance beat. At times you don’t even notice that the song has been going for over 6 minutes because the musical ideas and structure are fresh and constantly changing. ‘Not A Bad Thing’ is the longest song on Part 2 going for 11 minutes and it’s the only song which doesn’t really work. It’s quite bland and boring compared to the other material on this album and just constantly drags out.
The album features the single ‘Take Back The Night’ which has a disco/RNB feel and was compared to the work and sound of Michael Jackson. It’s a catchy song with the use of horns a major highlight, I always find myself grooving along to the beat. Highlights from ‘The 20/20 Experience Part 2’ are ‘Gimme What I Don’t Wanna Know’, ‘True Blood’, ‘Murder’, ‘Drink You Away’ and ‘Only When I Walk Away’. There are a few collaborations including guest appearances by Drake on ‘Cabaret’ and Jay-Z on ‘Murder’ while Timbaland has produced the majority of the record.
‘The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2’ is stronger than the first instalment of this album series and see’s Timberlake showing different sides to him and the way he sings. Welcome back JT.
Justin Timberlake ‘The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2’ is released on Friday 27 September and will available digitally on ITunes and physically at Sanity & JB Hifi