Monday, 15 April 2013

The Monday Review - Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience

At Musical-Things we know how difficult Monday mornings can be: the weekend is over, you have a full working week ahead of you and frankly you can't wait for the day to be over! So, in a bid to make Mondays just a little bit more tolerable and put you in good stead for the week ahead, we've got a fantastic review for your entertainment.

For today's Monday Review, we've got a great guest post to share with you from newbie student writer, Joanna Smith. 

Justin, Justin, I love me some Justin!

The 20/20 Experience is the third studio album by Justin Timberlake since his musical hiatus in 2006. It succeeds his last hit album FutureSex/LoveSounds, an impulsive breakthrough album with an eclectic mix of tracks - from the egotistic hit ‘SexyBack’ to the more sensual R&B/Prince-inspired ‘Until the End of Time.’ The 20/20 Experience alludes to 20/20 vision, the coveted standard of optical clarity and sharpness, and arose after previewing the album to his closest friends. Asking them “What do you think of this?” his best friend replied, “This is music that you can see,” and the rest is history. The visual element is definitely present; when listening I envisaged a different music video for each track (with me playing lead girl in all of them, of course!). The interludes, which suggests that the album should be listened to in order from start to finish, give it a sincere old-school feel as if you are listening to it on vinyl.
Here are a few of my favourite tracks from the long awaited but yet brilliant The 20/20 Experience:

Track 1. Pusher Love Girl
With its swooning orchestral introduction topped of with a whipping of heavy bass, 70’s acid funk and Justin’s famous falsetto in the chorus, the narrative of Pusher Love Girl compares loving a woman to narcotics addiction. The track sets the tone for the album as it contrasts the elements of making you want to dance with mellow vibes and tranquillity. Much like the rest of the album, there are moments that you can’t help but ‘Rock Your Body’ to, while the more romantically intense ones leave you ‘LoveStoned’.

Track 4. Strawberry Bubblegum
Opening with Mr Timbaland’s best Barry White impression (which does add a strange sexiness to the track), hearing the needle-on-record sound throughout adds an authentic flavour to this song. Timberlake sweeps through the opening with vocal layers of Temptations-like harmony accompanied by a clean 808 bass and high-hat combo - courtesy of Timberland's techno production. The theme this time is love at first sight (on “such a mellow day”) juxtaposed against the title as various sexual innuendos follow. Ending with a funky, futuristic outro (“And I will love you till I make you pop”), Justin concludes on a climaxing note.

Track 8. Let The Groove Get In
A sample of the Africa-Burkina Faso – Rhythms of the Grasslands kicks of this track, which really suits it. I honestly do believe that Justin was a black brother in another time. This track is pumped full of energy – with a trumpet choir blowing throughout, heavy bass, African drums and maracas – making it one of the best instrumental tracks on the album. It is definitely one for all of the family to “groove all night long” to and enjoy. You will become infatuated with the beat; the place to be is with JT! The bridge is what really makes this track. Against the constant pace of the fast tempo and percussion, you are transported suddenly into a trance with the African rift returning, questioning “are you comfortable? Let the groove get in!” Sweet piano chords, beautifully placed under the voice, accompany the chant taking the track to another level, and if you thought Justin’s falsetto couldn’t get any better, the outro could have been a track on its own!

Track 10. Blue Ocean Floor
It sounds very much like JT is singing this while watching an old slide projector, viewing old photographic memories. The sound gives the song an immediate feel of nostalgic sadness, like the love was lost. The most lyrically powerful song on the album, it is one you have to hear to truly understand. The sound of the ocean really adds to the context of the song. In my opinion, this song is a double entendre and is JT describing his view of his honeymoon with wife Jessica Biel and the doubts others may have had of his marriage. He talks about the strong love he has for her and how he will always find her in the deep end – excuse me as I wipe a tear from my eye…

There are many more great songs on the album but these four tracks were just the cherries on top of my sundae. I encourage you to experience The 20/20 Experience a ‘visual’ ride you won’t regret. 

For more from Joanna check out her Tumblr at


  1. Abigail Ogunsanwo15 April 2013 at 16:36

    OMGGGG!, I can't emphasise enough how amazing your review is and I'm honestly not just saying that cause your a friend. It clearly shows that you put loads of effort into it. Wow you know a lot about music, I was mouth was open lol. I like the part when you say 'I honestly do believe that Justin was a black brother in another time' that made me laugh! Im definitely gonna listen to the whole album now. I showed your review to my 14 year old brother and he really liked it too. Your a Don! lool

  2. This is an excellent review. The language was rich, descriptive and highly sophisticated. There was an undercurrent of humour all the way through, you are definitely JT's "lead girl"! Carry on writing, you have a talent!

  3. Margaret Raftis15 April 2013 at 17:38

    damnnn girl- that was some good shidize right there! i agree with this Abigail girl! you have pure talent right there girl! this girl could write any review!- film/book/music ! after reading this i went straight to the store and nabbed myself this album!! keep the reviews coming joannnnna!

  4. This is such a good review, if I was marking it, it would get A* just saying! I definitely had to search up a few of the complex words because I didn't understand your technical language hahah.
    Yeah, I agree with practically all of it. Blue Ocean Floor is definitely one of my favourite songs of his! :)

    WELL DONE JOANNA A*****************************************

  5. Not only did this make me laugh, but I also found a real depth of musical understanding in this review. Very descriptive but not too long. Loved it!

  6. Hi...Has anyone had the chance yet to read the Blog of "The New Music Friday" article of Fri 17th May about a new Unsigned band... XOVA? If you have not done so yet, GO on over to the Blogs page...Scroll down to Fri 17th May 2013, NEW MUSIC FRIDAY - about them, then Listen to their Beautiful track "9 LIVES" and think of Summer just being round the corner....Or imagine you are in Jamaica.

    Nuff said...


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