- pretty voice
- pushes boundaries of pop
- long, repetitive tracks
- inequality of tracks
- lack of flow
- Pusher Love Girl
- Suit & Tie
alex h’s review
Justin Timberlake’s highly anticipated album, The 20/20 Experience, was released recently. And with any album there are highs and lows, however Timberlake has some really high highs and really low lows. Starting with the high of highs: he kicks off the album with “Pusher Love Girl”. I love this song; it starts with a strong collection of strings and then moves into a groovy tune that will have most people at least tapping their foot. From here it’s moves to Timberlake’s single, “Suit & Tie”, (as you probably know) is a good song with a solid verse from HOV. The rest of the album is good for the most part; Timberlake’s voices does well and he seems to be experimenting a bit more with his overall sound. However, there are lows. If you look at the length of the songs, you’ll see that each is sizable – some being longer than 8 minutes. Long songs aren’t always bad, but when you have to fill an extra 2 minutes with unnecessary, nonsensical beats and sounds, that IS bad. Take “Suit & Tie”, a good song but had this song started at 0:42 I would like it a lot better – the first 42 seconds just don’t need to be there. Also, there are a couple songs that simply aren’t good. He ventures a little too far from him form at some points and it doesn’t turn out well. Still, it’s a good album that will sell well.
Impression: Overall solid album with some lengthy, groovy tracks, but also has some really weak tracks in there as well.
Pop is a tough thing to talk about in the world of today’s music culture. There are disagreements on how broad the term is, on whether any type of music that inherently sticks with the status quo can truly be art, and where the line can be drawn between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ pop. The answers are purely subjective. Personally, I don’t consider myself a fan of pop music, but find that when I do like things that can be considered pop, I put another word next to it to ‘justify’ it. Indie pop. Pop rock. Electro pop. Etcetera. So it’s almost difficult for me to approach a Justin Timberlake album because of unfortunate presumptions. But here we go. First off, this album is not purely pop like many of Justin’s endeavors, but much more like R&B pop. Which is good, at least for the first song on the album, Pusher Love Girl. After that, the appeal dies quickly. Most of the album’s songs are too long, too repetitive, and somewhat annoying. However, they do not revolve around the basic rules that you almost expect someone like Justin Timberlake to follow. So in that, the attempt is praiseworthy. Experimentation in the pop genre should happen more often and I’m glad that JT is not afraid. However, it still needs to sound good and make listeners want to listen to more of it. I have an admitted bias, and I’m sure Suit & Tie, Pusher Love Girl, and Mirrors will be applauded by many, but the album as a whole fails, but it fails admirably.
Impression: Tries to push the boundaries and succeeds, but tries to create a great blend of artistic value and pop music and admirably fails.