Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience Volume 1.
Overall, the album is easy to listen to. Justin has this smooth voice that can transport you to the crooners of yesteryear and yet he has these beats that keep you grounded to the here and now. Suit and Tie is easily one of the best singles on the radio right now. His second single, Mirrors, is also breaking up the monotony of back to back Rihanna songs on every station.
Justin has this sound that is different than what most artist are doing in Pop music right now, but his core song inspirations have remained true to the persona he has created for himself though his solo career. Each song is meant to woo this beautiful young thing that has the potential to be his one true love. Each song pounds this message into your head and I am sure that it will be a hit, but perhaps I expect more.
For the guys listening, Justin paints a picture that he is a suave Don Juan type and that by wearing fancy clothes and having swag he can sway any woman he wants into his bed. The women listening are all too eager to be pursued and equally eager to jump. It is a tried and true formula to selling millions of albums. What is the saying? Women want him and men want to be him.
There is one song which I have to skip each time I listen to it, but who knows it may grow on me, Strawberry Bubblegum. Justin sings to a girl who he affectionately names Strawberry Bubble Gum and he in turn refers to himself as her Blueberry lollipop. It was a major let down due to the silliness of it. I felt like Andy Samberg was going to cameo at any moment. It was the same disappointment I felt continually while listening to Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox. I hope this trend dies out soon, but so far no luck. I mean it has been 5 years since Lil’ Wayne compared himself to Fred Flintstone and told women he was going to make their BedRock…
Some of you are shaking your heads and wondering if I have even listened to Mirrors right about now. It is probably the only song where a clear maturity has made its way through the veil of his beautiful voice. It is a sweet song that may have been penned around the time JT married and lost any single man cred. The lyrics and melody are a beautiful ode to the love of his life and it has the ability to make anyone who listens to it swoon.
If you were hoping that the evolved sound would mean an overall maturity, I think you may be disappointed. If you want to take it at face value then you can have this on rotation while driving or kickin’ back with friends. As I said at the beginning it is an enjoyable listen, but perhaps the trite message will keep it from being his best album.
My top 3 tracks so far: Suit and Tie, Mirrors, and That Girl.
Keep your eye out for the rest of March’s new album releases.