Tuesday, March 12, 2013

ALBUM REVIEW - Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience



It is no secret that I hated "Suit & Tie" with a passion when I first heard it, I thought this was a colossal joke that JT was playing on the music industry, to the point of renaming it "Shit Ass Pie", but after a month of constant playing it finally grew on me and I got it. Next came Mirrors, while I didn't love it, I got it and it got passed into the same pile of hopefully will grow on me. So when the album arrived in my inbox in the early hours of yesterday morning I was extremely skeptical, the pairing of Justin Timberlake and producer Timbaland has always been a magic combination in the past, but could they keep it going especially with such a long break in between albums? The short answer is yes, yes and yes!

Recently we have been complaining about the slew of artists releasing albums that are just complete trash (Ke$ha, Rihanna, Madonna) and that everything is starting to just sound the same in this era of music. Fortunately Justin Timberlake is here to shake the foundations of the currently bland pop music industry and blend some old school with a new twist that sees the 20/20 Experience one of the best albums of the year, and of the last few.

A lot of people will be confused by the tracklisting, there is only 10, I thought possibly I had been given just a demo version or something, but each song is about 10 minutes long and has 2 different styles that run off and compliment each other. This is the pop album I have been waiting for, to come and change the way we listen to music and how things on the charts should be.

Pusher Love Girl is the first track and the 50's jazz style mixes with some heavy Timbaland typical beats that ooze sexuality. This is one of my favourite tracks on the album and is constantly on replay, from here we move into "Suit & Tie" this is a really extended edition with a great breakdown at the end that added a lot to the song and I really enjoyed it. Don't Hold The Wall is definitely the most danciest sounding song on the album, starting out with a drum and bass style beat mixing with JT beatboxing and then moving into a modern rnb "4 Minutes" Madonna sounding song is one of the best produced and performed songs of 2013. StrawBerry Bubblegum is pure pop gold and is a little throwback to his N'Sync days, but still very modern and JT. The next three tracks Tunnel Vision, Spaceship Coupe and That Girl all meld in together seamlessly and really showcase this new sound that Timberlake has going on. Mirrors is the second single from 20/20 and is a beautiful love song and slides in nicely with the final song Blue Ocean Floor.

None of the songs have any auto-tune or dubstep and while this may sound and seem like an extremely risky move, it definitely pays off for Timberlake who has crafted and created his own sound with Timbaland and this will be music to definitely head to the tour for. As well as being beautiful and addictive, this album has the potential to expand new and varied audiences who would normally not listen to pop music.

Overall this album is a game changer, and is THE game changer we have been waiting for. Cleverly crafted pop music stripped back and showcasing just what a talent Justin Timberlake is. The 20/20 Experience is our pop album pick of 2013 and is available in stores next week.

Review by Alaisdair "Arrow" Dewar

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