“The 20/20 Experience” Ablum Review

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The title of Justin Timberlake’s third studio album, and his first in nearly seven years, refers to clear vision. The pop-singer certainly has a clear vision in mind with his comeback album, one that is every bit as romantic as it is up-beat, and as retro as it is new. Timberlake pushes old-school R&B vibes while infusing modern stylistic tones, and it all comes together under the glorious production of his long-time collaborator Timbaland.

The album consists of just ten songs, but the majority exceed seven minutes in length. Timberlake has stated “”If Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin can do 10-minute songs and Queen can do 10-minute songs then why can’t we? We’ll figure out the radio edits later.” It’s this kind of thought process that drives the album. Timberlake is having fun experimenting here. Many of the songs take a turn in style at the mid-way point, but it works. Because of this, the album isn’t your average pop-album. Instead of a collection of radio-singles and dance-beats, it’s an experience, as the title suggests.

Some songs are more “sensual” than others, “Strawberry Bubblegum” and “Spaceship Coupe” being two examples. Others, such as “Tunnel Vision” (with its obvious Timbaland influence) and “Let the Groove Get In” are more poppy in nature, but still carry the unique flare that the album will come to be known for. “Suit and Tie,” the album’s first single, features the only guest artist on the album as Jay-Z puts down a nice verse in a song that embodies the classy night-life. The second single, “Mirrors,” is arguably the best song on the album, being an epic ode to that person in Timberlake’s life that makes it all worth while. Seeing as how he just married Jessica Biel last year, we’re hoping it’s her. The last song on the album, “Blue Ocean Floor,” is a beautiful yet trippy journey that acts as a sort of “cool down.” Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

During Timberlake’s hiatus, new pop-sensations have emerged that have taken the public by storm with modern, all-too-common interpretations of pop music (ahem, that other Justin guy). Leave it to Timberlake to come back with a statement and remind people why he’s so good. We probably won’t see another album from him for some time, but when he returns again he’ll come back with something just as addicting and unorthodox as “The 20/20 Experience.” We’ll be ready.

4.5/5

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