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misspoptart 03-18-2013 06:25 AM

Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
 
My first review! :) :tramp:

I would just like to preface this review by telling you all that I don't think I have ever just sat down and listened to a whole album. By nature, I love the pop and glamour associated with singles, and I very rarely find stuff I like deep in the depths of albums. The exception to this is Madonna. Her other tracks have always been better than the singles.

In any case, I'm gonna listen to the whole album start to finish so that I can fit in. BAM!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...lake_album.jpg

Release year: 2013

1. Pusher Love Girl
2. Suit & Tie
3. Don't Hold the Wall
4. Strawberry Bubblegum
5. Tunnel Vision
6. Spaceship Coupe
7. That Girl
8. Let the Groove Get In
9. Mirrors
10. Blue Ocean Floor

Pusher Love Girl
As the album's opener, I do appreciate the great instrumentals and classic JT vocals on this track. That said, it's also incredibly boring for me. It's got a doo-wop feel, and that makes it sound a bit dated. What is a pusher love girl, anyway? I love JT's outros generally, and I do I like this outro too. I just wish the whole thing was a bit more epic than it seems. It's not exactly dance-able, either. This would basically make good background music to a sort of weird sex or while cooking. That's the best I can do with it.

Suit & Tie
Now we're sliding more into an R&B style, which reminds me more or the direction I wanted JT to go in. I love the instrumental, but this song is not catchy enough, plan and simple. That said, it does have some degree of uniqueness. But for some weird reason this and the track before it makes it seem like Justin became an old person. I can see why people like it, though. Especially if they like 80s lounge music also. This is morning music in any case. I may download this track (illegally) just so I can listen to it with breakfast on Saturday. I'll delete it after that probably.

Don't Hold the Wall
Starts out very N*SYNC. Then becomes tribal. Again with the weird lingo...what does it mean to hold the wall? Is that like hanging out in the corner? Anyway I'm loving this one so far, but it again lacks a hook. JT is asking us to dance, but this song, again, is not super danceable. I can't even picture a bunch of people dancing to this. If they did, it would be in slow motion, and kind of tribal. With fire dancers. The second half of the song is sample-y and cool. You might like it. Still, I'm tempted to just hold the wall on this one. ;)

Strawberry Bubblegum
Oooo, I love the opening thing from JT on this one. "Mellow, mellow, mellow, mellow..." Very nice. I didn't want to say it, but it seemed that I would like this track based on the title alone. My suspicions were accurate. It is sexy, cool, and very, very danceable. It kinda reminds me of eating a pancake with metled butter and syrup...and strawberries, of course. My favorite so far. Just listening to it makes me feel a little more feminine than I did before. :love: This song really makes me think the critics who are saying Timbaland and Timberlake are doing their usual thing are way off base. This is unlike anything either has produced, imo.

Tunnel Vision
Aaaand we're back to the modern and classy porn soundtrack sound I'm used to. In terms of porn background music, this album is (so far) blowing them out of the water. In terms of a strong pop album, it's drowning a bit in parts. There's nothing really likable about this track. I like the idea of Tunnel Vision when JT sees me, though. YES! PICK ME!! WHO NEEDS YER WIFE! Oh!! The orchestral bits toward the end of the bridge are very very nice. This is a welcome surprise. More violin please!! No? Okay. Moving on.

Spaceship Coupe
This definitely has a space feel in the first ten seconds. Who knew the world "alienate" could be used like that? This song is also sexy, but Strawberry Bubblegum was better. Its pacing is slow, but well-managed. The vocals on this particular track actually care it really well. But again, this is basically only good for a quiet sexy night in. At the end, really weird breathing. Not a fan of this one.

That Girl
Marvin Gaye much? This track is not like the others. Why? Because it is effing weird. This is also the first song not moving like a turtle the entire time. It speeds up - just a little bit - at some points. Bravo, JT. Bravo. Still, the lyrics here are just mad cheesy. Come on JT, you used to be so ahead of the times!

Let the Groove Get In
Whaaaaaaaaaat....? *dances like crazy* Finally a song I can jam hardcore to! Okay, if you listen to nothing else on the album, at least give this song a listen. It is absolutely delicious. It almost makes up for the milder porn stuff. This is no porn soundtrack! This is the sound of crazy love! Turns out this song also samples an African track from Burkina Faso. APPROVE.

Mirrors
I really like Mirrors, and I think this song is really beautiful, genuine, and easy to listen to. The opening bit is absolutely adorable. The only problem with the song overall is that it sounds too much like JT's older stuff. For that reason, when it plays on my recent shuffle list, I get a sense of nostalgia and feel a certain "knowing". It's a very strange sensation. The song is great all the same, I'm just not sure if it's good to like someone's old self that much. I should be embracing JT's evolution, not relishing his past. At least, that's how I would want it to be, if I were a musician. Also. I don't love the outro. All in all, the epicness one would expect from the creators of "Lovestoned." FINALLY.

Blue Ocean Floor
Is that JT? His voice is very different at some parts of this song. Aaaaaand it's weird. This one seems to be a crowd pleaser though, with 50% of the youtube comments about the album referring to the "greatness" of this song. I don't feel it. Haaaa...toward the end it does get a bit better, with the vocal coming in much stronger and a very sad violin solo happening in parallel. Aw, he seems very sad now. Aw, what a way to end an album. Wow. This was an experience.

Overall (tl;dr): The album definitely has something for older Justin fans, but not much. It's likely that the album will attract a new/younger audience, or it will appeal to really die-hard fans that see no wrong with the beauty of this man. Well, I'm one of the latter. I'm buying this and I will listen to it again and again until I fall in love. Or, I'll go to a concert. Because Justin does things to the studio recordings in concert that...well it's unbelievable. You wouldn't believe me anyway.


6.5/10

Fluff 03-21-2013 11:26 PM

Enjoyed that. Not my sort of thing but you did a good job on the review, was fun to read. Plenty of lols in there.

Quote:

I may download this track (illegally)
^ That's something I'd say haha

misspoptart 03-22-2013 02:22 AM

:) Thanks for the feedback, fluffehhh!

Anteater 03-22-2013 11:18 AM

You know, its hard for me to dislike The 20/20 Experience when its obvious that Justin really wanted to give mainstream R&B a nice shakedown and remind the world that music that actually tries is more interesting in the long-run than yet another record that was designed for the sole purpose of filling up slots on Top 40 radio.

That being said, I think Justin has the same problem that Frank Ocean does: two modern and obviously talented guys who want to be Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder respectively, but not enough cohesive ideas to make the longer tracks click as much I think they should. 'Pusher Love Girl', 'Let The Groove Get In' and 'Spaceship Coupe' are all quite savory though, no doubt about it!

Also, I don't think Timbaland's hyper-rhythmic production style gels effectively from song-to-song here, especially in light of some of the other really top-class R&B records that have come out recently. Take More Than Words by Brian McKnight for instance: that baddass has adopted a Maxwell-meets-Steely Dan aesthetic that really brings out the best in his songwriting. The 20/20 Experience, unfortunately, feels almost as if its forcing itself at times. Timberlake needs to go take a few leaves out of the classic 80's approach to R&B or go listen to some razor sharp modern prog. rock for future deep-cut endeavor inspiration methinks. :D

That being said, great review and I enjoyed the album on the whole: I just don't think it's going to make everyone's AOTY list come December, especially with all the great music in a variety of genres that's coming our way over the next few months...

Goofle 03-22-2013 12:48 PM

Justin Timberlake > Michael Jackson

14232949 03-22-2013 03:06 PM

Aye, people need to take the nostalgia filters off. Channel ORANGE beat everything Stevie Wonder did, and the 20/20 Experience beats out everything Wacko Jacko put out.

FRED HALE SR. 03-22-2013 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mankycaaant (Post 1299872)
Aye, people need to take the nostalgia filters off. Channel ORANGE beat everything Stevie Wonder did, and the 20/20 Experience beats out everything Wacko Jacko put out.

Channel who? Stevie Wonder demands an apology this minute. New Timberlake is ok, more jazzy then I would have imagined. A few standouts, but nothing that could ever touch Stevie Wonder in a million years.

Anteater 03-22-2013 03:53 PM

Eh, don't sweat 'em Freddy. They're just trollin'. :)

(And if they weren't, then they probably haven't really sat down with Off The Wall, Thriller, Innervisions, etc....if at all. Its easy to write off albums you've never really dug into after all!)

Goofle 03-22-2013 05:56 PM

I said JT > MJ. Disagree with Frank > Stevie.

14232949 03-23-2013 07:59 AM

My opinion is that both Frank Ocean and JT are stronger artists. They understand the music better; know when to let it breathe, have incredibly versatile vocal ranges and I know this may seem shallow given the technological advancements since the days of Inversions but the production is so much smoother, well rounded and layered.

There's no doubt MJ and Wonder were great 'singers' but as artists I find them to be rather one dimensional compared with JT and Frank who have better and more diverse ranges and aren't prone to the filler that Stevie and MJ put on some of their albums because they lacked the depth to keep up the standard throughout.

Besides just because an album is 20/30 years older than another, doesn't make it better. Hence the nostalgia comment I made.


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