In November last year I felt the need to pull out my Justin Timberlake cds. Don’t ask me why, but it had been a while since I’d listened to them. The only one I could find was the FutureSex/LoveSounds album, which isn’t a bad thing. And so, once again I became acquainted with this album and it just reminded me of why I dig him as an artist. I managed to find his first solo album, Justified a couple of days later and it feels like just yesterday that it was released. It still fantastic, and I love it just as much as the time I bought it.
Why I suddenly felt the need to listen to these albums again, I have no idea. That was until January when a little teaser clip hit the net of the star sharing his thoughts on why it has been so long since his last release, but the words that echoed through many a Timberlake fan’s ears was “I’m ready”. Perfect timing JT because so were we.
The first single hit the airwaves shortly afterwards called Suit & Tie. It features arguably the biggest name in rap, Mr. Jay-Z. Despite being met with a lot of mixed reactions, the single still made its way into the top ten on several charts around the globe. Look it’s not my ultimate JT song, but it’s a good first offering. Plus the brother has swag for days, just check out the video to see that. With that, the news of The 20/20 Experience, his third album, was announced.
And cue the promotion for the album. JT’s big return to the music scene included a highly anticipated performance at the Grammys, the Brit Awards, a little intimate and exclusive gig in LA and of course a number of interviews on the various American talk shows circuit. One of the bigger promotional gigs he was involved in was on the hit show, SNL. JT hosted the show the Saturday before the release and let me tell you the brother is one talented man. He’s extremely versatile, funny and an all-round entertainer. In fact, reviews of his hosting duties on SNL were so favourable that there are rumours about the Oscars organising committee bidding for him to host next year’s event. Nice.
Watch Mirrors now:
Anyway, back to the music. I got my hands on the deluxe version on Tuesday and like kids don’t read their birthday/ Christmas cards, I didn’t read anything. All I wanted was the music. And so began another long and happy listening session courtesy of one of my favourite artists. The album’s first song is Pusher Love. It eases you into the album perfectly.
The long and successful Timberlake/ Timbaland relationship continues into this album and that solid fusion of musical geniuses is notable on songs like Don’t Hold the Wall (Potential single) and Tunnel Vision.
Besides Mirrors, Blue Ocean Floor, Let the groove get in and Don’t Hold the Wall, my favourite track is Strawberry Bubblegum. It’s just one of those incredible songs. Not only does it show off his impeccable vocal ability, but the musicality in this song is commendable too. Just when you think the song is done, the star switches up in a way you wouldn’t really expect. The timing is spot on, the effect is even better and I absolutely love the keyboards.
In short, Timberlake slows it down on this one. Barring Suit & Tie and Let the groove get in, there aren’t many up-tempo dance floor numbers, but you wont be disappointed with the soulful alternatives. Mirrors baby, Mirrors. This isn’t my absolute favourite from Timberlake, but that could change over the next couple of weeks. I do love the new material nonetheless and clearly I’m not the only one. The star was expected to shift around 750 000 copies in its opening week, but that expectation was shot out of the water. The number Billboard is going with at the moment is 968 000 copies, which makes this the biggest opening sales week of 2013. Nice one JT. Now if he could just open up the tickets for his tour… I’m going. The END!
Grab yourself a copy of Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience from iTunes or any good leading music store now.