To Cliffs Notes The 2nd Half Of The 20/20 Experience...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

So I'm going to try to keep it simple this time since Justin Timberlake refuses to do so as he has released the second installment of his mega-seller 20/20 Experience and it's a even bigger convoluted chore. Timberlake is just getting way over his head at this point as it features twelve more tracks (one is "hidden") as well as a couple of bonuses (I may be unemployed but I don't have that much free time, Justin...) and all of them clocking in longer than what it takes my mother to make her famous all-day pinto beans.

There was really no need for The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2, but it is here, and if you were raging for FutureSex/LoveSounds Part Two well you got a vanilla bland version of it here, as Timberlake ditches the debonair soul flows of the manageable first installment and goes for a ram-bam animalistic dog in heat vibe, with a couple of experimental rock n' country numbers swirled in to scream: "I'm showing variety you guys, love me!". Full Timbaland mode this album is and not for the better (what happened to the Pharrell collaborations? Lies that this photograph told me?). Of course there are misses (the horrid current single, "TKO", and the shaky stupidity of "Cabaret") and tracks that try to get there, but really get lost in the slosh (the drunk as a skunk, "Drink You Away"), but as usual I managed to find treasure in the trash as 20/20 Experience does have its entertaining moments that don't have you pressing the delete button.

Give Me What I Don't Know (I Want)
Timbaland and Timberlake could have made this song laboriously long, but thankfully they trim off the edges of the crunchy tribal sandwich that this is and kick off the album on a energetic high note. Clocking in under six minutes, we wander into a thicket of clap-trap beats that clippty-clop with the funkiest of ease. As it isn't anything groundbreaking as far as rhythms go (what has been the gripe of the 20/20 collective as a whole), I'm too busy moving my rump to notice. [Listen] 

Take Back The NightSticking out like a sore thumb amid the aggressive animal grunts, "Take Back The Night" is the sleekest number here. This should have been the first single when 20/20 was first introduced, (as instead we got the limp "Suit & Tie") as this is Timberlake doing by-the-numbers Off The Wall better than anyone. Even amid the feminist kerfuffle, this spinning diet disco number is where Timberlake's charisma and obvious Michael Jackson worship is catching. [Listen + Watch]

You Got It On
What happens (again) when Timberlake shows restraint as he pulls a quietly paced and somewhat gooey Philly Soul slow jam out of his fedora. It's a moment where Timberlake drops his guard and stops trying to prove he's the next "King of Whathaveyou" and allows him to just wax poetic, and that he can. As much as this sounds like a Justified track that was found and dusted off, I appreciate how tender the caress is. [Listen]

On first listen, I wrote this number off, until I actually let it glide in and take residence in the old ear drums and there I heard the most lyrically honest song Timberlake has made on this whole project and a song that deserves its 7+ minutes. Sure it crawls like the baby brother of "Cry Me A River", but the string-laden symphonic flourishes that cast this song in a Gothic waltz are exquisite and have Timberlake bolster up refreshing maturity. You bet that this needs to be single. [Listen]

Only When I Walk Away 
I can't help but think what Bruno Mars could've done with this grimy and growling blues meets rock hybrid, but at least Timberlake is showing a bit of variance here as his southern-fried machismo is at a fever pitch. Just wish that it ended three minutes ahead of schedule.... [Listen]

Not A Bad Thing
Quite possibly the *NSYNC comeback song that didn't happen."Not A Bad Thing" is a third example of when Timberlake and Timbo pull in the reigns, they can craft a song that sonically flows and with early 2000's guitar work it's hard not to gorge on some good ol' heart-on-sleeve nostalgia. Shame the song has the sensitive Savage Garden-esque hidden ballad, "Pair Of Wings" tacked to it, as this stands as a pop charmer all on its own. If I'm being really honest, this is actually the best song on the whole damn thing, and of course JC Chasez wept. [Listen]

Blindness (Bonus) 
A song that has evolving potential for Timberlake. He's been in a comfort zone and 20/20 suffered with Timberlake's stubbornness to not branch out producer wise. His trying to appease to the hip-hop crowd has resulted to pithy results and he is suited better for songs in this caliber. Flourishes of horns and well-groomed diction, hint at Timberlake finally getting to hang in urban hang suites, but that is if only he would stop dicking around and actually get there. This is there, and it's good. [Listen]

In navigating the 20/20 Experience it has stood out to me that what can be detrimental to double albums and how they flow is the tracklisting, and 20/20's is atrociously organized, and that right there just brings it to its knees. So knowing that 20/20 Experience could have been a better project and not just by having more focused and aesthetically pleasing tracks alone, one restless evening I decided to "remix" the 20/20 Experience, omitting songs I disliked (begone "TKO" and "Suit & Tie" from my queendom!) and rearranging the tracklist to the thematic guise Timberlake was probably going for. So with a wave of my Audio Diva wand, I managed to make 20/20 Experience MY experience, with an album that flows better and just makes more sense to me. If you want to follow my lead the tracklist The 20/20 Experience: The Audio Diva Way is below and by all means, share your version of The 20/20 Experience if you hated the tracklist just as much as I did. Happy remixing!

The 20/20 Experience: The Audio Diva Way
Give Me What I Don't Know (I Want)
Don't Hold The Wall
Strawberry Bubblegum
Tunnel Vision
You Got It On
Pusher Love Girl
Take Back The Night
Let The Groove Get In
Electric Lady
That Girl
Only When I Walk Away
Not A Bad Thing
Blue Ocean Floor

1 comment:

  1. What happened to the Pharrell collaborations? He gave the songs to Thicke. :)


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