Photo credit: RCA Records
Release Date: 03/15/2013
Follow Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake went from being Americas’ Sweetheart (lol) to being person-non-grata in a matter of years. After his infamous fumble handling the Super Bowl situation with Janet Jackson, people caught on to how he had made a habit out of trashing women to push his career further. So, writing about him in 2023 is very different than writing about him in 2013; where his album “The 20/20 Experience” received mass praise and spawned a few incredibly successful singles.
Timberlake took a 7 year break in-between his two massively successful records, FutureSex/LoveSounds and … this guy. The drought gave people the idea that he had spent that time planning his return; what would his sound be? How could he top his previous record? And that really caused the world to praise this record to a point where it made me pause and listen to it. And? It’s not… good?
It’s not that it’s bad, he is an incredibly talented musician, of course, but each tracking being 95% longer than it actually needs to be feels like the antic of a child who was praised after singing one sing okay for her family and now she’s putting on the full performance… it’s a LOT. One of my favorite things about Pop music is that we are in and out; we say what we need to say, add a little sass and catchy hook and package it up in a pretty box and say “here you.” Timberlake and Timbaland really took it upon themselves to really sell the whole… experience.
The lead single “Suit & Tie” would have been such a fun moment if it had been 3 minutes long, I don’t need the extended version. The hook is catchy enough but its use of horns and a live band does make it a standout track on the record. It’s really fun to see an artist grow and play with new sounds and vibes, and JT delivered here.
Mirrors has to be one of my least favorite songs of all time… I simply do not get it? I tried to get it; I went out of my way to get it… I didn’t get it. I know that people love when men are “vulnerable” and sing in a falcetto but I honestly cannot pinpoint one enjoyable moment in that song. I know the video has over one billion views and I’m not saying that I’m smarter than one billion people but…
Pusher Love Girl is the only other track that I would say was close to being good; It is a fun start to the record but again… It did not need to be 8 minutes long. It wasn’t strong enough to carry an audience for that amount of time. This record just screams “look at me I’m like… a really serious musician” — Especially after he had just gotten done bringing Sexyback? I don’t know what you’re trying to do, JT.
The one track that I will say I genuinely like without any real “remark” is Blue Ocean Floor; and that’s just because of the production. It feels completely different from the rest of the record and it’s peaceful. His voice can come off grating at some points throughout the record but not here.
I know there is a deluxe edition, I could not bring myself to listen to that many hours of Justin Timberlake. I wanted to, kind of, but I just… couldn’t. With all of this said; I do like him as a musician and artist, I am excited for new music from him — It’s just this record was not… That Girl.