Review of “The 20/20 Experience”

Written by Kelsey McConnell; Media by Zach Bonner

imagesJustin Timberlake’s newest album, The 20/20 Experience, introduces a new style to the listeners. Timberlake brings in different beats for each song that aren’t really heard of. He doesn’t copy his beats from other artists. Justin has tribal beats along with a jazz beat and pop beat. The songs that have the pop beat seem to be more club-like and hold the listener’s attention more. There are different rhythms and beats throughout each song that can hold someone’s attention. He also brings in a chorus to sing the lower ranges while he sings soprano.

imgresA downside to this album is that each song could have ended at least a minute earlier than it does. Most of the songs are between 7-8 minutes long. The end of each song is mostly instrumental and repetition that could easily be cut down. This would keep the listeners’ attention better. 
There is only one short song, “That Girl,” on the album and it is 4 minutes and 48 seconds, and even this song drags out and could be cut down. It’s like Timberlake is trying to fill up space on the album and drag out the songs more.

Another downfall is that some of the songs don’t really have a story line to them. Most songs tell stories and have meaning. “Don’t hold the wall” and “Strawberry bubble gum” are two songs that don’t tell a story. There is just a lot of repetition and instrumental parts in them. Three songs that have story lines are “Suit and Tie”, “Mirrors” and “Let the groove get in.” There are upbeat songs on this album, but some of the slower songs just seem to be boring. “Blue ocean floor” tends to put people to sleep because it’s slower and it drags on. People can’t concentrate on the words because the melody makes someone drift off. If the song was a little more upbeat, then it would catch the listeners’ attention more.

Overall, I would rate the album imgres. The songs need to be shorter to catch more people’s attention. Having just instrumental solos is good, but not for most of the song. Using different beats and styles is excellent and helps create a catchy tune, but dragging the song out doesn’t help. This album is one where there are a few songs that are people’s favorites and that is it. No one will like to listen to the whole album. 


  1. Love the fact this article was written by a McConnell, because I am too! My name is Justin so this is a coicidence! I agree on some points. But the album is legendary, and is good for 2013… the length of the songs matter because every song has a meaning. Who would have ever thought he would come back strong like this, and give us some good southeren R&B and Soul Music!

  2. Well I think it’s really good. Better than three stars, probably about 4.5. It’s a refreshing album that brings many different rhythms together that is alot more original and interesting than other music being played on pop stations. Although his lyrics could used some work (like on Suit & Tie), the variety in his music and the length makes up for it. Songs back in the day before the technology boom used to be long, not short like most of today’s music. Maybe he made them longer to stretch out the album or maybe it was necessary for his complete expression. Either way it gives us more time with some good songs. And lastly, capturing the audience’s attention isn’t the problem here. His style is still somewhat the same so it’s not like it’s completely out of left field and boring the audience. Fans will know what to expect from listening to his last album: something smooth, classy, and seductive. From what you are saying it sounded like his music should equal what other artists are doing to gain that spot on the billboard. He’s at a point in his career than he has the ability to make the music he wants to make, not just willing to sing a catchy tune for 2.5 minutes for more fame. Give the guy some credit.

  3. I’m a fan of the album, but that’s not important here. I just want to, as a person pursuing a career in film criticism (and sometimes music criticism), point out that I feel this review was tackled the wrong way. Take, for example, the closing sentence: “No one will like to listen to the whole album.” That is a sentence that CANNOT be in a review of something. It’s a declarative, objective statement about a subjective matter. You can’t say what any other person will want to do with an album.

    I look at this way: Quality of art is objective. ENJOYMENT of art is subjective. In my years of watching 400+ films a year and studying every single day, I’ve learned that, objective, some movies are very good, and some are very bad. However, I’m still able to ENJOY some of those ones that are not high in quality, and some of the truly great films I don’t enjoy watching whatsoever.

    Reviewing is hard work, trust me. But declarative statements must be avoided. You have to tackle things in a way that doesn’t tell the audience how they’re going to experience something, but how you experienced it. Better yet, stick to the objective qualities — is the album well mixed, are the instruments played well, does Justin hit all of his notes.


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