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Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2 (Album Review)

Wednesday, 02 October 2013 Written by Gavin Rees

There’s nothing understated about the second instalment of Justin Timberlake’s ‘20/20 Experience’. It’s an unwieldy proposition, its bloated running time conspiring to overpower the few fresh, exciting ideas that made the cut.

Where part one of this opus traded the sleek world of ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds’ for a classic look and pop hooks, here we find grubby production and a selection of ‘sexy’ tracks that outstay their welcome and prove to be cardboard company while they’re at it. 

As a performer, Timberlake is almost without peer when he’s on form. His combination of slick moves, easy charm and playfulness make him the perfect pop icon, but here all of that is lost under the weight of a grand idea gone wrong and a desire to step away from his nice guy persona. At some stage someone should have said no, but they didn’t.

At times we catch glimpses of Timberlake at his best. Cabaret, which features a guest verse from Drake, is smooth over cocktail bar keys, while You Got It On is a soul ballad in the classic sense, mashing Timberlake’s falsetto with Prince-style liquid guitars. Not A Bad Thing is also a gentle highlight, recalling Timberlake’s roots and providing relief despite its mind-numbing 11 minute length.

Elsewhere, things are less pretty. Take Back The Night is by the numbers disco coated with inexplicable ignorance, while True Blood stretches a minute’s worth of ideas across nine. Jay Z pops up on Murder and references Yoko Ono and John Lennon in some of the more mindless lyrics of his career: “You know that shit gotta be lethal, if that pussy broke up the Beatles.”

After the massive highs of ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds’ and the relative success of ‘The 20/20 Experience’, this parting shot is a huge disappointment. Timberlake clearly has a bunch of great records in locker, but next time less will most definitely be more.

Justin Timberlake UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Sun March 30th 2014 - SHEFFIELD Sheffield Motorpoint Arena
Tue April 1st 2014 - LONDON The O2 Arena
Fri April 4th 2014 - GLASGOW Hydro
Mon April 7th 2014 - MANCHESTER Phones 4u Arena
Fri April 11th 2014 - BIRMINGHAM LG Arena

Click Here to Compare & Buy Justin Timberlake Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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