A highly anticipated record by any die-hard Justin Timberlake fan – yours truly included as well – the new record certainly marked Timberlake’s departure from mere pop star to a venerated musical genius of our generation. Subsequently, the album too represents a humongous shift in his musical paradigm.
If the previous records were heavily infused with pop party-starting tracks such as “Sexy Back” and “My Love”, The 20/20 Experience on the other hand is a rather intimate record and loaded with masculine sensuality.
Within each song is a unique character, created as narrators to narrate the story behind each song. It is like watching a repertoire of movies but without seeing it in the usual visual form. The opening track (Pusher Love Girl) sees Justin making the most out of his famous falsetto range voice. A metaphoric piece, Timberlake equates the love of his life to drugs – fatally addictive.
The second track (Suit & Tie) which serves as the lead single for this album is certainly high on every fan’s playlist at the moment. A playful composition laced with classic pop influence (the closest I could think of is Frank Sinatra), "Suit & Tie" is about having fun on the dance floor while feeling the love swinging in the air.
The album’s third track (Don’t Hold the Wall) is imbued with hypnotic Middle Eastern rhythm that would certainly remind you of film noir flick such as Casablanca. The eighth track (Let The Groove Get In) also boasts similar Middle Eastern/African rhythm, especially on the singing style. Furthermore, Timbaland’s rap is omnipresent in the album, noticeable in several tracks.
On the other hand, "Strawberry Bubblegum" (fourth track) is another metaphorical composition, equating his lover to the sinful and strongly irresistible strawberry bubblegum. Another track that may catch your interest is "Spaceship Coupe". Albeit the title itself may conjure the idea of a dance or techno-pop track, something akin to Daft Punk material, the actual thing may be contrary to what you may assume.
But I can’t deny that “Mirrors”, the ninth track in the album, has an immense effect on me after listening to it. Lyrically potent, “Mirrors” tells about the life changing journey that Timberlake went through after meeting the love of his life, which is reflected on the lyrics.
"Blue Ocean Floor", in contrast, caught my attention because it starts with the sound of human breathing through the oxygen mask – an illusion of being on the ocean floor itself. The sound echoes throughout the track and coupled with Timberlake’s rendition and a slow-motion violin strums provide a mystical feel to this song. I could not help but to think of Jules Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea”.
Other tracks that will entice you to put this album on repeat mode are” Tunnel Vision”, “That Girl”, “Dress On” and “Body Count” (available in Deluxe Edition CD). The 20/20 Experience is available in record stores now as well as on iTunes and leading online music retailers worldwide.
Suit & Tie-up Like Justin
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