In the world of pop music, Justin Timberlake is Superman. He pulled off the flawless transition from frontman of *NSYNC to wildly successful solo artist and just released his fourth studio album, The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2, a follow-up to last spring’s The 20/20 Experience. The new album is classic, and this man of steel makes no effort to hide the fact that lust is his only kryptonite.
It shouldn’t be news to anyone that Justin Timberlake is one horny dude. You’d be hard-pressed to unearth a song by him that isn’t related to love, sex or beautiful women. In “TKO,” one of the album’s singles, producer Timbaland speaks for both himself and Timberlake by repeating the line, “She kill me with the coo-coochie-coochie-coo.” While Timberlake lacks lyrical diversity, his ability to transcend time periods and genres with his music brings a unique take to each song. “You Got It On” feels like a track straight off of a Marvin Gaye album. With its combination of Timberlake’s famous falsetto, the funky guitar “wah-wahs” and the downtempo beat, it’s definitely a song to put on next time things are getting steamy in the bedroom. Timberlake does his best impersonation of Michael Jackson on “Take Back the Night,” which features a disco beat, guitar riffs and a whole lot of funky horns. Timberlake’s versatility with production styles is impressive to say the least, as most of the tracks on the album offer very different vibes.
Being the superstar that he is, Timberlake is able to collaborate with some of the biggest artists in the game. The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2 features verses from both Drake and Jay Z. Timberlake is fresh off a summer tour with the latter and, earlier this year, featured him on his smash single “Suit & Tie.” On the track “Murder,” Jay Z does what he does best—rapping about women, money and expensive things. While the verse is nothing spectacular, the line “She got that Yoko Ono / You know that shit that made John Lennon go solo” shows that Jay Z has yet to run out of clever metaphors and analogies after all these years.
One of the album’s standout tracks is, without a doubt, “Drink You Away.” As the title suggests, Timberlake sings of drinking away his love-induced sorrows in an attempt to forget a past sweetheart. JT makes full use of the rock organ in this catchy tune while singing, “Now tell me baby / Don’t they make a medicine for heartbreak.” He reveals his medicine of choice to be southern whiskey, namely Jack Daniels and Jim Beam, but faces the inevitable fact that “a thousand proof don’t change the truth” no matter how much booze he dives into. The upbeat tone of the song provides optimism to those trying to forget a past crush or lover.
Like the songs on The 20/20 Experience, many of the songs on 2 of 2 are at least five minutes long because apparently Timberlake needs to maximize his time reiterating the fact that he’s truly devoted to you, girl, yes, YOU. Nonetheless, this lust-filled album has all the necessary elements to soar straight to the top of the Billboard pop charts and is definitely worthy of a listen.
4 out of 5 stars