Justin Timberlake’s first album in almost seven years , “The 20/20 Experience ,” is exactly the type of record that the name suggests.
It is an experience rather than a collection of singles.
In what seems like an attempt to distance himself from contemporary pop starts like Justin Bieber or One Direction , Timberlake has come out with a much more mature sound then his fans are probably used to hearing.
Timberlake leads off with a song called “Pusher Love Girl ” in which he compares his love for a woman to a drug addiction. Original.
The song is actually really sweet and fun, and would have been good if it had ended after three minutes. Instead, it continues for another five minutes, which mostly consists of Timberlake listing drugs comparable to his love.
Like pretty much every other song on the album, it is too long. It’s hard to imagine the seven-minute or longer songs on the album being successful as singles without significant editing.
“Tunnel Vision ” is the one song on the album that just never seems to end or to actually say anything. Timberlake repeatedly sings the words “tunnel vision,” and that’s about it.
However, if you manage to make it to the end of the song, Timberlake starts repeatedly singing “zoom, zoom, zoom,” reminiscent of the song Proto Zoa sings at the end of the Disney Channel Original Movie “Zenon ,” which I don’t think can ever be a bad thing.
Speaking of weird songs about outer space, “Spaceship Coupe ” is by far the strangest track on the album.
“I don’t want to alienate you,” Timberlake croons. “You see, I’m trying to find the alien in you.”
The lyrics are absurd, but I like it more than the other songs in which he is trying to sound deep. “Spaceship Coupe” sounds like a parody from The Lonely Island , which would be a compliment if Timberlake weren’t trying to pass this off as a legitimate song. I would really like to see Timberlake sing the lines, “We’ll cruise around, land and make love on the moon – would you like that?” with a straight face.
“Mirrors” is probably the song that most closely resembles the old Timberlake. Lyrics like, “I couldn’t ever change without you; you reflect me, I love that about you,” are not incredibly deep, but they are catchy and the song could easily make a successful single.
Overall, the album is not bad, but it is definitely different from what Timberlake has done in the past. I wish I liked the album more because I like Justin Timberlake, but maybe that just shows that he is just a likeable guy with a great voice who lacks an aptitude for songwriting.
The songs on “The 20/20 Experience” are the type that needs to be listened to several times before you can really get into them. Unfortunately, with most tracks topping out at about eight minutes, that could take a while.