The overall concept and feel of Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience is very interesting. However, the overuse of repetition in unnecessarily lengthy songs hinders the listener’s experience, blurring it to maybe a 20/40 experience. This album seems to be more suited for passive listening as there are only two of the ten songs with durations under six minutes. Given JT’s musical style, it is a bit excessive having a full album of exceptionally lengthy songs. Although, he has exercised long song durations in his past two solo releases, but not to the extent of his latest CD.
The 20/20 Experience offers more of an experimental, jazzy pop type sound as opposed to the beat-oriented pop reflected on 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds or the straight-forward Top 40 material off of 2002’s Justified and every N-Sync release.
For what it is, The 20/20 Experience is good. Several songs are moderately enjoyable, including “Don’t Hold the Wall,” “Tunnel Vision,” “Spaceship Coupe,” and “Let the Groove Get In.” “Tunnel Vision” and “Spaceship Coupe” are probably the closest songs to what the general public would expect from the former N-Sync dreamboat. The latter actually incorporates dub-step into this jazzy pop sound.
Despite the previous criticisms, it should be known that while The 20/20 Experience may not appeal to everyone, it is indeed a musically intelligent work of art. JT has come a long way from his days with N-Sync. This new solo release dignifies Timberlake’s intellectual and musical growth.