JT returns with ‘The 20/20 Experience’

Joe Llorin, Features Editor

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After a lengthy seven-year hiatus to explore acting and other ventures, Justin Timberlake makes his epic return to the music world with his third studio album “The 20/20 Experience,” which was released nationally on March 15.

Timberlake, who turned 32 this January, has the career that many artists these days strive for and much more. Establishing himself as a solo artist after the major success he had with N’Sync and then moving on to conquer roles in the world of acting is nothing short of amazing. He’s grown and matured over the years into a top musical contender and he shows his newfound maturity with “20/20.”

Contrary to most of his past material, much of the music featured on “20/20” is organic, as opposed to synthesized effects played through a MacBook Pro. Although Timbaland has producing credits on all 10 tracks, Timberlake made the wise decision of providing the vocals with his own voice.

The first single off of the album, “Suit & Tie” pays homage to the classic feel of a time where it took more than just bringing sexy back to woo a woman¬– it took class. Timberlake’s soulful sultry vocals paired with the ragtime sound of the trumpets and the poppy but minimalistic drum pattern gives the song an overall classy feel. The breakdown during Jay-Z’s rap modernizes the track and brings listeners back to the 21st century, as if the song itself were a time machine.

Another sure-fire hit on the album is “Spaceship Coupe,” a space-themed odyssey devoted to spending life drifting in space with your loved one. Timberlake’s voice flows with such smoothness, as if its viscosity was lower than zero. The track draws inspiration from several music titans who made their names in romance, such as the likes of Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie and Brian McKnight. The song’s tantalizing guitar solo and addicting harmonies are sure to spice up any situation with romance.

Being about six minutes long in average, each track on “The 20/20 Experience” is an anthem to romance– whether it’s the type of romance where you’re addicted to someone as if they were a drug like in “Pusher Love Girl” or the type where all you can think about is your love, a la “Mirrors,” any guy would need this in his repertoire if he intended to make a move on that oh-so-special girl.

Timberlake’s vocals are as beautiful and free flowing as can be and there’s at least one thing on each track that earns a second listen, but the songs’ long track lengths may turn off new fans that came for “Suit & Tie” but aren’t interested in staying for the long haul.
As elegant as it is, Timberlake’s voice isn’t support an entire song, especially when they’re six to eight minutes long.

Overall, the album serves as an impressive return for Justin Timberlake to say the least. The songs are long but beautiful on more levels than one and the classy feel of the album is a nice reminder that sex doesn’t always sell. If you’re a die-hard fan of “JT,” this album is nothing short of a masterpiece, but if you came for “Suit & Tie,” you may not enjoy the other 65 minutes of the album.

Rating: 4/5

You can purchase Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” on iTunes or through his official website at http://justintimberlake.com!