Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience

The 20/20 Experience... Not as perfect as its eyesight might have you believe

Review: Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience

Published on March 25th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

Is the world right to be pushing Justin Timberlake as the acceptable face of the mainstream pop world? Or is it just Timbaland’s production making him sound good? Does it sound good at all? Let’s find out for ourselves.

“Pusher Love Girl” starts with a lovely fluttery string arrangement before settling into a typically untypical Timbaland groove. Rocksucker’s cynicism has already subsided, as this is several rungs above your average (read: appalling) chart R&B. Granted neither Timberlake’s lyrics nor vocals are particularly inspiring (good falsetto in the chorus, though, and commendable restraint in the verses), but it’s nevertheless good to see a pop star choosing collaborators wisely, with an eye on creating something standalone. It’s an eight minute R&B oddyssey!

The technicolour production production holds up, but from thereon in Timberlake’s incessantly moronic lyrics (“I can’t wait to get you [insert suggestive location or situation here]” seems to be a particular favourite) begin to take their toll. Not even Jay-Z can save “Suit & Tie” in this regard – basically, the entire album boils down to a dimly expressed invitation to ‘get it on’ with Timberlake, and Rocksucker would rather not.

“You and me, that’s the recipe for a good time”: that’s an actual lyric from “Strawberry Bubblegum”, undermining the credit we’d have been inclined to give the track for the bossa nova-ish digi-funk of its second half. Look, here are the lyrics to “Spaceship Coupe”:

Hey, yeah, yeah
Hey, I wrote this song for you
Listen

Everybody’s looking for the fliest thing to say (fliest thing to say)
But I just want to fly (fly away with you, you, you, you)
I don’t want to be the one to alienate, yeah (alienate)
You see, I’m trying to find an alien in you (you, you, if it’s cool, cool)

We can’t take an airplane
Where we’re going is way too high
Going where the day sky turns into night
I got the windows special tinted for the stars that get too bright
And I saved you a seat, so let’s ride

Hop into my spaceship coupe
There’s only room for two (Me and you)
And with the top down
We’ll cruise around
Land and make love on the moon
Would you like that?

How are you supposed to take that seriously? It reads like it was written by a child. Screw this, let’s just get to the quailing.

Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five!

a quaila quail

The 20/20 Experience is out now on RCA. For more information, please visit the official Justin Timberlake website.

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.