After seven long years of musical hiatus, Justin Timberlake has finally released his highly anticipated album The 20/20 Experience. The question is was it worth the wait?
The title of Timberlake’s album perfectly translates into every track as he creates music that you can so clearly and vividly see. The concept is very similar to N.E.R.D.’s Seeing Sounds album. With this concept in mind, Timberlake masterfully offers a variety of songs each possessing its own special flavor in sound.
Throughout the entirety of the album, Timberlake succeeds in showcasing his trademark falsetto. It’s undeniably sexy, entirely soothing in unimaginable ways and so perfectly tender in tone. The 20/20 experience, which has an average of seven minutes per song, risks the chances of losing the attention of an audience, but surprisingly it actually works out nicely. Every aspect of each song flows so seamlessly. The tracks have the power to seduce you with exotically intricate beats, love infested lyrics, and vocal acrobatics that ultimately lead to forgetting about how lengthy the songs actually are.
“Strawberry Bubblegum” is so ethereal in sound as it is emphasized by the guitar and keyboards. The opening dedication “Hey Pretty Lady… this goes out to you, you, you” is very reminiscent to Usher’s opening of “SuperStar”on his Confessions album. The airy sounds match Timberlake’s falsetto as he sings of the intoxicating feeling he captured when he caught his lover’s eyes, calling her his “little strawberry bubblegum.” His delivery is quite cleverly done. He intermixes between falsetto, his speaking voice, and his mid-range singing voice as he describes her as nothing that he has ever seen before. While noting, “Don’t change nothing because your flavor is so original,” he sings the notes in a sweet staccato that draws you in completely.
“Don’t Hold The Wall” has a very tribal/tropically inspired beat as mastermind producer Timbaland is heard saying “Dance, Don’t Hold The Wall” in the background. It’s a perfect dance-pop song that will get you up on your feet and will hypnotize you into dancing without holding the wall.
“Tunnel Vision” another song with an apparent Timbaland influence, has a very chillingly breezy classic pop vibe as Timberlake admits to having “tunnel vision” for one special girl (ahem, Jessica Biel maybe?). He expresses his undeniable love singing “A million people around, all I see is you.” Aw, how sweet, he’s sure to break millions of girls’ hearts on this one. Well, of course, he melts the heart of one particular special lady.
In “That Girl,” Timberlake re-emphasizes the same theme of love for one specific girl, but this time in a very bluesy/jazzy feel of sound. Alternatively, Timberlake gives us another dance-pop song “Let The Groove Get In,” but this time it has noticeable Latin influences. It’s a song that will either make you want to take some salsa dance lessons or just simply shake what your mama gave you!
“Mirrors” is a timeless classic pop track that is sure to get a lot of radio play once the phase of “Suit & Tie” is over. “Mirrors” is another dedication to the love of his life describing his lover’s shine to the shine of a mirror. In the chorus, he beautifully sings how he sees them together as “two reflections into one, cause its like you’re my mirror, my mirror staring back at me.”
The question still remains was this album worth the wait? I definitely think so. It’s by far his best album to date. It’s an album that shows his musical growth and maturity as he explores new sounds, tightens his writing skills, and embraces his colorful vocal ability.