REVIEW: JT raises the bar with “The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2”

October 7, 2013


We thought we’d reached pop music heaven when Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience – Part 1 came out. 

But then Part 2 hit stores and we realized just how far from it we were.

Composed of 11 tracks (nearly 75 minutes of material), The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 is a nearly flawless representation of why the world is so enamored by JT. As one of mainstream’s biggest stars, there has been exceptional hype engulfing Timberlake in regards to the release of new material. He didn’t let us down with The 20/20 Experience – Part 1, and – not surprisingly – he delivers once more with Part 2. Packaging sumptuous harmonies and tantalizing instrumental synthesis in a candy-coated musical treat, Timberlake scores high with The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2. Check out some of our favorite tracks off of the album below:

Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want)”: As the opening track, it nearly goes without saying that this tune determines where the bar will be set for the rest of the record. Undeniably, that bar is placed at heavenly heights. Incorporating sensual lyrics against an intriguing backing, “Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want)” flows with seamless ease. Establishing a safari-influenced vibe with animal sound effects and delectable harmonies, JT sings “Now take me to your jungle / I’m not afraid / and if you’re ready for your animal / hop in my cage / Fall in a terror of height / don’t talk / Come in, come in, gimme what I don’t know / I want”. It’s certainly his way of giving us what we don’t know we want (i.e. this song on repeat).

“Take Back the Night”: A single from Part 2, “Take Back the Night” is an instant classic. Backed by upbeat instrumentals highly reminiscent of Part 1, the infectious track is a notable representation of the signature style JT adheres to: delectable lyrics, rhythmic melodies, and spine-tingling harmonies. Singing, “tonight’s the night, come on, surrender, I won’t leave your love astray / Your love’s a weapon, give your body some direction, that’s my aim / Then we could take back the night”, the song is begging for some car speaker action.

“Not a Bad Thing”: Perhaps one of my personal favorites off the record, “Not a Bad Thing” is an emotionally-charged finale to tug at the heartstrings. The perfect appeal for hopeless romantics, JT assures the subject of the track that it’s “not a bad thing” to fall in love with him (as if we ever thought otherwise). The song carefully melts into a blissful acoustic-based serenade, in which he croons, “and this sounds like such a silly thing / but if I could I’d fly you away / on a big old pair of wings”. The tender notes of JT’s voice mixed with the melodious beauty of the lyrics strike a delicate balance – an undeniably memorable and powerful finale to the record. Highly recommend giving this one a listen.

There’s something inexplicably irresistible about Justin Timberlake – both the image he projects and the material he produces. Perhaps it stems from his musical creativity, or else the unique sound his records evoke. Or perhaps it’s a result of his evolution as an artist and the breadth of which his talent spans. No matter the reasoning, The 20/20 Experience – Part 2 is simply another thing to add to an exceptionally long list of reasons the world is enamored with him – and why he seems to do no wrong. Here’s to the agonizing wait we’ll have to undergo for his next set of material. In the meantime, The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 will have to suffice.

-Shelley DeHekker


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