We continue to countdown the top 5 albums of the year as we wrap up a wonderful 2013 in musical terms. Coming in at number 3 is Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience.
The welcoming sounds a string ensemble are the first things to greet us after pressing the “Play” button on Justin Timberlake’s long awaited comeback album, The 20/20 Experience. The strings lead us to the album’s first track, Pusher Girl Love and already we’re reminded of just how much we missed JT. When an artist disappears from music for a while, coming back is always a tricky feat. Justin Timberlake had no such issues with 20/20. It’s almost as if he picked up where he left off 6 years ago with Futuresex/Lovesounds.
Justin Timberlake embodies perfectionism in his craft. He doesn’t release a single until the time is just right. He doesn’t complete his albums until they are well and truly ready. 20/20 was ready and it came out at just the right time. The album’s lead single, Suit and Tie, announced his return to the world (And featured an awesome Jay Z verse to moot!)
As far as highlights of the album go, I wouldn’t say Suit and Tie is one of them. This has more to do with the transcendent level of quality of every other track on the album. Timberlake blends classic, bubblegum pop (See the track named Strawberry Bubblegum!) With his polished, dapper and unmistakable sense of style.
20/20 Experience is everything you want out of a Pop album; there are relateable tracks that remind you of former great. Don’t Hold The Wall is a little reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s track The Wall.
The title of the album is apt, too. It’s not just an album to listen to, it’s an experience. The songs take you on a vicarious journey that allows you to experience the full depth of Timberlake’s lyrical and melodical marriage. Spaceship Coupe has you floating, in orgasmic ecstasy. Let the Groove Get in has you dancing through a busy market in Bombay, not caring who is watching- before transforming into a 70s disco-inspired groove down.
The tracks in Justin’s previous album, Futuresex/Lovesounds often ended with interesting twists/transitions. Those same transitions (Like the one mentioned above, in Let the Groove Get in) are ever-present on The 20/20 Experience and they help tell the album’s story in a unique way.
The tracks Mirrors and Blue Ocean Floor are my highlights of the album. They showcase Timberlake’s songwriting ability (Which is incredible) as well as his undeniable vocal prowess. The former went on to become a massive hit this year, and perfectly encapsulated Timberlake’s return to the forefront of Pop music.
The album is a mark of distinction. There is absolutely no denying, and although the decision was tough, it is fully deserving of a spot in the top 3 albums of the year. Bravo, Justin. Bravo.