Justin Timberlake releases his third record on March 19th after a 7 year hiatus. Listeners might think the #JustinTimberweek on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, early iTunes streaming, and SNL hosting might be overkill in the promo department. The record justifies the already present sensation. The 20/20 Experience proves that it’s not always about how many records you can crank out, rather it’s the quality of the record you present to the audience.
The Social Media Buzz is Legit: In January, a big social media explosion centered around the infamous JT return to the music. With a simple link to a video posted on tumblr, the artist revealed that contrary to popular belief, he wasn’t done with music.
I’m the one that sits and is obsessive about it before you even get to hear it. As close as I get to it, I don’t think I can physically torture myself that much, year in and year out, and expect it to fulfill me the way that it does and the way that it is right now. I don’t wanna put anything out that I don’t love. – JT
The normal mentality of the music industry would be Let’s put out as many records as we can, have as many tours as we can to promote those records (ticket sales, merch, etc. with a tour), and let’s see how much money we can bring with all this musical material. I appreciate the fact that JT didn’t release his work for monetary sake. In the Top 40 world full of “Call Me Maybe”s and “Harlem Shake”s, we need an artist who won’t put dubstep or auto-tune on a track for the sake of a sale or chart-topper. Without a lick of auto-tune or dubstep, Timberlake reminds us of his signature R&B/Soul flavor with a spice of Timberlake pop splash.
The Buzz-Worthy Record: Justin kicks off the album with a suave and seductive “Pusher Love Girl.” The track is reminiscent of old sounds like “My Love” (Futuresex/Lovesounds), but presents a strong claim that Timberlake comes back harder with a more mature sound. The production value is exceptionally noteworthy. The mixing of vocal harmonies and hypnotic drum beats create a pleasurable aural experience. JT teams up with established hitmaker, Timbaland as well as Jerome “J Rock” Harmon (Timbaland, Chris Cornell, Chris Brown).
“Let The Groove In” shows JT’s panache for combining R&B and Latin beats (“Senorita”: Justified). It’s “I want to spin you on the salsa club floor” sexy. The track is invigoratingly different from all the cacophonous club noise on the radio.
Timberlake’s pinacle and epic piece has to be “Mirrors.” After a series of smooth, euphoric and ear-pleasing tracks, Justin gets real and honest.
Cause with your hand in my hand and a pocket full of soul
I can tell you there’s no place we couldn’t go
Just put your hand on the past, I’m here tryin’ to pull you through
You just gotta be strong
The lyrics aren’t only romantic and poignant, but we can definitely tell that Timberlake feels like he found something treasured with his wife, Jessica Biel. The acoustic hook after the bridge is a hand-clapping, foot-stomping celebration of love and something not only musically beautiful but also symbolically beautiful.
It’s no surprise critics and music lovers predict a Grammy 2014 sweep for The 20/20 Experience. Timberlake and Team JT prove their innovation without losing the signature JT sound. Platinum producer Clive Davis (Whitney Houston, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen) gave his seal of approval on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” Timberlake’s more than just a man in a “Suit & Tie.” With charismatic vocals, funky and soul-oozing beats and catchy music production, Timberlake’s a talent legacy.