Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2 (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
JUSTIN Timberlake adds extra energy and danger to the second part of his 20/20 Experience album release and, quite possibly, surpasses the enjoyment value of its predecessor.
Boasting production support from Timbaland and a now obligatory guest appearance from Jay-Z, this feels sexier, rawer and more edgy than the first album – and a little more anguished.
Admittedly, you have to wait for the darkness to permeate. There are traces early on, especially on TKO, but 2 of 2 really begins to inhabit its edginess once Murder (featuring Jay-Z) lands.
But it’s all over the bluesy, boozy brilliance that is Drink You Away, which employs smart beats to underline its heartbroken despair. While Amnesia finds the singer desperate to forget and Only When I Walk Away hits the listener with thumping beats, heart-on-sleeve anger and the recurring refrain of “she loves me now, she loves me not”… as though continually being teased by his desires.
That’s not to say there isn’t some smooth groove fun to be found. Timberlake is clearly having fun on album opener Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want), which is alive with vibrant beats and an infectious energy.
While there’s an utterly fun homage to classic Jackson Five material on the disco-pop romp that is Take Back The Night. It’s arguably the album’s most infectious moment and destined to become another massive hit.
The album even ends on a note of optimism with the ‘pop’ track Not A Bad Thing, in which Timberlake sings lines like “it’s not a bad thing to fall in love with me” and “how about I be the last voice you hear tonight” over breezy acoustic guitar licks and polished beats.
But there’s no denying that 2 of 2 is at its most compelling when Timberlake turns up the intensity and even comes over more overtly explicit that perhaps is the norm.
It’s a really strong collection of songs to bolster an already hugely enjoyable 20/20 Experience.
On this form, fans can only hope that it doesn’t take seven years for more new material to surface as the singer appears to be coming into his prime.
Download picks: Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want), Take Back The Night, Murder, Drink You Away, Amnesia, Only When I Walk Away, Not A Bad Thing