On The 20/20 Experience Justin Timberlake relied far too heavily on Timbaland’s production. He should have spread the love with other producers. Was Timba hurting that bad for work? Or did he blackmail JT? What dirt was he threatening to go to MediaTakeOut with? Either way these 11 leftovers again reveal that Justin needs new friends.
As with Part 1 these songs are all exhaustingly long (74 minutes in total) and selfishly experimental. For instance if Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is the equivalent of a Hammer films classic the horror-flick aping near-10-minute “True Blood” is a schlocky Troma production.
The first 20/20 at least unfolded like a carefully planned concept. Part 2 has no thread; it’s like a lavishly produced B-sides collection. He’s also shooting blanks in the hits department. “Take Back the Night” again transparently apes MJ while the Jay Z and Drake guest spots feel like called-in favours. In Drizzy’s defense at least he owns the limp “Cabaret.”
Really it’s a chore getting through the entire thing. JT seems to have given up on making concise radio hits which is the reason why we accepted him as a solo artist in the first place. This makes me wish that *NSYNC reunion wasn’t a bullshit publicity stunt.