Zachary Gray – Co-Editor-In-Chief
Justin Timberlake has enjoyed a successful summer, as “The 20/20 Experience” put the pop star back in the spotlight. On September 30, Timberlake released his fourth solo album, “The 20/20 Experience – Part 2 of 2. The theme of new-school sophistication carries over to this album, but quality was apparently left behind.
The first single off 20/20 is “Take Back The Night.” It features the use of strings and horns, like most of Timberlake’s previous album. It has the feel of Timberlake’s older songs with a mix of Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.”
“TKO” is Timberlake’s next single, which features a synth intro and heavy bass. The cho- rus is very catchy and Timberlake displays his high range of vocals.
Although it hasn’t been released as a single, “Only When I Walk Away” might be the best song on the album. The distorted guitar and raspy vocals provide the perfect feel for the song, as Timberlake expresses the struggle he has with a woman. It’s a strong song with an even stronger feel. Unfortunately, it drags on for seven minutes, unnecessarily changing tempo and instrumentals.
“Drink You Away” sounds like a country/pop crossover similar to Kid Rock and Florida- Georgia Line. Instrumentals feature electric and acoustic guitars, as well as southern or- gans. It’s good, but feels nothing like anything Timberlake has put out before. He displays his vocal range, but only for short periods.
The singles from 20/20 Part 2 are decent, but the album as a whole is simply terrible. “True Blood” makes a futile attempt of being remotely similar to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” The house rhythm, multiple electronic melodies, and random hollowing effects make any listener wonder what exactly is playing. The lyrics make little sense and once again it features a drawn-out breakdown halfway through.
The 20/20 Experience – Part 2 of 2 saves some of the worst for last. “Not A Bad Thing” sounds like a classic Justin song, but that Justin’s last name is Bieber. Perhaps young, premature vocals would be better suited in this teenage-pop song. It’s simply a teenage love tune with terrible lyrics.
When you think the album is finally over, Timberlake sneaks in a hidden track titled “Pair of Wings.” It’s a cheesy love song featuring an acoustic guitar and Timberlake’s vocals. Timberlake should have left this hidden track off the album and kept it hidden in the closet of the recording studio.
Although some songs keep this album to- gether (“Cabaret,” featuring Drake and “Murder,” featuring Jay-Z), this album is a letdown. Nearly every song is drawn out to as long as eight minutes. Timberlake seems to be trying way too hard instead of letting the music come naturally. Bands such as Rush and Led Zeppelin were able to produce songs as long as 10 minutes, but those bands had the capability to keep the listener interested in those songs. Timberlake simply repeats harmonies over an extended period of time and calls it music.
Even if someone is an avid Justin Timberlake fan, The 20/20 Experience – Part 2 of 2 is not worth buying. The singles are decent at best, but the album is just a bad experience.