Even though The 20/20 Experience and its follow up 2 of 2, were met with mixed reviews, they were commercially successful. Both albums went to the top of the Billboard 200, and both went platinum. The first album, featuring the hits Suit & Tie and Mirrors, went double platinum, and was the highest selling album of 2013.
Now a year on from Timberlake’s comeback to music, looking back, did his music match the hype that surrounded his return to the art form, which he found fame with. The answer is yes and no at the same time. While he sold records, and made chart topping singles, the two LP’S he released over the year could of been cut down into something smaller, to make something bigger. In this post I’ll look at which songs I would of selected for the ultimate track list of The 20/20 Experience.
Pusher Love Girl – Opens the first album perfectly. After a thirty second orchestral intro, we float into a five minute funk jam, with Timberlake’s vocal’s, which we had missed for the last seven years, and are then treated to a slow rap for the outro. Whether the album created would include twenty, ten or even seven songs, this one should always be included.
Suit & Tie – For anyone who complains that that song’s on The 20/20 Experiance were to long, this is one that shouldn’t ever be cut short. The radio edit didn’t do it enough justice. Timberlake’s comeback single, featuring Jay-Z and production by Timberland and J-Roc, ticked all the boxes.
Take Back The Night – The lead single from 2 of 2 struggled to get off the ground, due to controversy and bad timing, but this MJ inspired jam, would of complimented Suit & Tie well sitting next to each other on the album. The horns played by Benjamin Wright give the song an extra punch.
Tunnel Vision – One of the tracks that could of been cut down, we are treated to a electronic R&B song with synths and sounds of a full orchestra, and Timberlake singing about zooming in on the girl of his choice. Never got a real chance on the radio, with Take Back The Night being released hot on its heels, and getting attention for all the wrong reasons due to a NSFW music video.
Murder – The third collaboration with Shawn Carter (after Suit & Tie and Holy Grail) in recent years. The rap featured here is more engaging that Suit and Tie. Where Suit & Tie would have been just as good without the added verse, on Murder, Jay Z’s lyrics which reference Yoko Ono, The Beatles, filing the void left by The Notorious B.I.G.and Tupac in the rap world, and his relationship with Beyonce, take it to the next level.
Mirrors – Not much I could add on the longest track of The 20/20 Experience that hasn’t already been said. A love song inspired by Jessica Biel, is perfect from start to finish.
Let The Grove Get In – Sampling the recording Alhamdulillahi from the album Explorer Series: Africa-Burkina Faso – Rhythms of the Grasslands, lead to once again being compared to Michael Jackson. This time his performance on Wanna Be Starting Something lead critics to draw parallels.
Not A Bad Thing (without hidden track Pair of Wings) – The newly released third single from 2 of 2, should see similar success as Mirrors commercially. Finishes off 2 of 2 beautifully and would of done the same for my JT mix.