With the release of “The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2,” Justin Timberlake reminded the world what it has known for years — his talent is unmatched in today’s music industry.
Timberlake is by no means a novice to creating revolutionary music, but “The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2” is his best work to date, including its predecessor that was released in March. Both albums were recorded during the same 20-day timespan, but conceptually, the sequel is a vast improvement of the first installment of the experience, in which he focused on danceable tracks. With 74 minutes of at-times garrulous songs, part two is pure pop perfection.
“Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want)” gets the party started in the typical Timberlake fashion of vivacity. “True Blood” jumps from rave-like to being reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” with its eerie background noises best suited for Halloween.
Timberlake also teamed up with two of the biggest names in hip-hop. In “Cabaret,” Drake joins the track and elevates it to another level rarely seen with pop and hip-hop collaborations.
Timberlake toured with Jay-Z all summer and released two singles with him this year, “Suit & Tie” and “Holy Grail.” Their newest partnership on “Murder” isn’t as impressive as the previous two songs. With lyrics such as, “She got that Yoko Ono / You know that sh-t that made John Lennon go solo,” Jay-Z doesn’t add much substance to the song, and it comes off as a forced creation solely made to preserve the momentum of their earlier hits.
In “Drink You Away,” Timberlake sings of the woes of unsuccessfully drowning sorrow with bottles of Jack and gin. “Now tell me, baby / Don’t they make a medicine for heartbreak?” he asks hauntingly.
“Only When I Walk Away” has the potential to be one of Timberlake’s biggest hits. The song intertwines grueling vocals with guitar riffs that make the breakup anthem a standout in the album.
“Not a Bad Thing” concludes the 20/20 experience and is the bow on the meticulously crafted package gifted by Timberlake. “It’s not such a bad thing to fall in love with me,” he croons.
Timberlake is familiar with accolades. At this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, he received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, which he shared with his former *NSYNC bandmates, who helped launch his career. The Grammy winner waited until the eleventh hour to release his album as the deadline for Grammy eligibility coincides with the date of the album release.
Timberlake will indubitably walk away with new gramophone trophies come February when the award show airs.
Grammy nominations for 2014 will be announced on Dec. 6. Until then, Timberlake is launching his tour Oct. 31 to personally share the now complete 20/20 experience with eager fans around the world.
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