Justin Timberlake the 20/20 Experience
Written Review by J.S. Marler
I am going to make this a relatively short review because I can then stop listening to this album. No, the album is not that bad, but I am not sure how much I will want to listen to it in the future. I will explain.
My Background with Justin Timberlake:
I have mixed emotions when it comes to Justin Timberlake. I was in elementry school when N*Sync had their first concert on the disney channel and I would be lying if I told you I did not like them. In fact, I loved N*Sync at the time and I had no idea what history had in store for boy bands and Justin Timberlake. As the years passed on I found that I really liked some N*sync songs and even a handful of Justin timberlake songs. However, there were many more songs that I cannot stand. I think a lot of people are able to stand listening to these horrible songs because they like listening to music for the sake of just letting music play; I am not one of those people. Timberlake has been part of very good songs and very crappy ones that I wish I had never heard. Let us see what the 20/20 Experience can offer.
I genuinely enjoyed the two singles released for this album before it all songs were released. “Suit and Tie” was a song that had a big listening curve and I now really enjoy it despite hating it at first. The second single “Mirrors” was a song that I instantly liked and made me excited about the rest of the album. All that excited was deflated with the first song and then skipping through every song after. I really hated listening to this album at first. It felt like it was almost actually causing me pain. I honestly do not listen to this style very often and I generally do not like the high pitched falsetto vocals. Initially this album seemed to offer nothing more than the two songs I have heard and enjoyed before the album was released.
After Multiple Listens:
I somehow forced myself to listen to this album over and over. I found that it was much easier to digest if I was doing something mentally intensive at the same time so I was not focused on the music exclusively. This made it much easier to listen to and even enjoyable at times. I will say that it was a much better experience listening to the album cover to cover. It was arranged well and added to the experience having the songs leading in to each other. I could be wrong, but pop albums tend to not benefit from listening to cover to cover like a lot of rock albums do. Pop albums usually have a few good songs that are distinctively better than the rest of the album and do not benefit from other songs. I am glad to say that this album was planned well and is a better experience listening to cover to cover.
I will give the album credit where it is due. It is recorded well as expected and offers some cool things that I did not expect. The style of the singles represent the style of this album in that they are not typical pop songs. They have a different style is every sense. Different instrumentation, different vocals, and an overall different feel. This is no longer a “rock your body” or boyband music experience anymore. It takes chances musically with multiple really long songs on the album that last over seven minutes. This was something I did not expect with a pop album. It really has its own style that is different and was not concerned with fitting into corporate molds; I cannot help but respect that.
I mentioned earlier that the two singles “Suit and Tie” and “Mirrors” are the best songs one the album. It took a listening curve, but the song “Don’t Hold the Wall” was the next best song that I enjoyed because of the rhythmic and different feel it had. The first song on the album “Pusher Love Girl” still drives me crazy and I never want to listen to it again. The only thing worse than the name is the song itself. Actually the song “Strawberry Bubblegum” is worse, but starting the album with “Pusher Love Girl” just set a bad starting point for me. The song still got better with multiple listens, but not enough for me to enjoy it. The rest of the album kind of faded away for me. It has moments that stick out and are catchy in their own respect, but it did not have the traditional pop “hits” I have come to expect. I really do think that this album will be easier to digest and differentiate after a few months if I continue listening to it.
Rating: J.S. Marler 5 J.W. Morse 4.5 Average = 4.75
Best Song: Mirrors
Worst Song; Strawberry Bubblegum