Twenty brand new songs. Twenty days. Experimental guitar sessions. Synthesis of old and new beats. Creativity flowing from studio room to studio room as multiple songs are recording at the same time.
Justin Timberlake returns to the music scene this year with two albums. Almost tantalizingly planned to increase anticipation, the releases are scheduled just a few months apart. “The 20/20 Experience – 1 of 2” is already one of the best selling albums of the year. It includes the popular singles “Mirrors” and “Suit and Tie.” Jay-Z lends his vocals to “Suit and Tie” and also appears again on the second album, adding the appropriate amount of rap lyrics to soulfully enhance Timberlake’s pop artist platform.
Just this week, Timberlake is releasing the second part of this collection, “The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2.” “Take Back the Night” is the only single released prior to the full album release. “Take Back the Night” definitely has a retro-soul feel, ushering in the beginning of fall and the closing of summer. As the song title implies, this composition encourages the prevalence of nightlife enthusiasm among the young, free, and beautiful. Men and women alike can identify with the message Timberlake relates to his listeners.
Timberlake appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” to promote his new album as well as to reinvigorate listeners with the feeling of excitement that was sparked with the release of the first album. He observed that, “the first (album) is a little more summertime; it’s a little more virginal. The second half is just a little more….slutty.” This is definitely apparent while listening to both albums in sequence. If the first album is cocktail hour, then the second album is most definitely the after-party. It is officially time to have an amazingly incredibly time.
Drake also makes a vocal appearance in this second album. “Cabaret,” the third song on “The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2”, is expected to be one of the more popular songs on the album. The heavier beat-loaded songs are placed at the forefront of the album. The album aptly transitions into a few slower, more thought-provoking songs. “Drink You Away” and “Amnesia” are two songs that represent this reflective portion of the album. Referring back to the progression of events during a night out scenario, this is the point in time when a past lover from a confusing break up suddenly appears in the same room. With “Amnesia,” the lyrics are applicable to many individual scenarios: “Amnesia, every memory fades away till it’s gone/ Where did you go/ Amnesia, went from everything to nothing/ No we anymore, she’s a stranger that I used to know.”
Unique to many album releases in the past few years, these albums include songs much longer than the typical allotted length for songs. All eleven songs on “The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2” album are longer than four minutes and thirty seconds, with the longest song surpassing eleven minutes. While this album is definitely not a quick listen, it is full of significance and valuable melodies that make the length an integral component of the collection as a whole. Overall, this is a highly enjoyable and recommended album.