Music Review - John Meagher: Justin Timberlake - 20/20 Vision
Patchy effort that lacks 20/20 vision
It took Justin Timberlake seven years to follow up Future Sex/Love Sounds.
It took Justin Timberlake seven years to follow up Future Sex/Love Sounds. Now, a matter of months after releasing The 20/20 Experience, he's unleashed his fourth album on the world. The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 – to give it its clunky full title – was recorded during the sessions for the album he unveiled back in March.
Like that sprawling record, this is an audacious, genre-jumping, sex-obsessed opus that is both brilliant and bonkers. And, as with its predecessor, it's way too long – weighing in at 74 minutes and boasting several tracks that run out of steam after five minutes but continue to meander along to their conclusion.
It's most definitely not a return to the sort of snappy, straight-up, radio-baiting fare he proffered so successfully on his superb debut, Justified.
But it does illustrate once more that the former N*SYNC member is not afraid to really push the boat out and let the imagination of his friend and producer, Timbaland, run wild. The highly potent Cabaret is typical of his heavy-hitting approach. Meanwhile, the superb You Got It On sees Timberlake – in crooner style – delivering a clever, innovative, skewed pop song.
Elsewhere there is a disappointing appearance from Jay Z on Murder – Mr Beyonce has been treading water on his recent guest turns – while the poppy Take Back the Night finds Timberlake on autopilot.
Key tracks: Cabaret; You Got It On
The 20/20 Experience (Sony) - 3 STARS