[The Year of the Gentleman]: The 20/20 Experience

It’s March 19th, which means that Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience is finally in stores; and, I must say, I’ve been waiting for this day for a while now. From my perspective, 2013 has been proving itself to be the real [Year of the Gentleman] and this album, from the substance of the music to the branding of the project, couldn’t have come out at a better time.

This time around, Justin Timberlake is showing everyone exactly how [valuable] of an artist he is. From the first second of Pusher Love Girl to the fading out of Blue Ocean Floor, the album brings you in and satisfies. It’s clear that we’ve been missing out over the past 6 1/2 years since his last album, FutureSex/LoveSounds.

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After I looked at the tracklist and the length of the album, I was surprised that it was a 10-track record that lasted 71 minutes (like the good albums from back in the day). I don’t see that very often in modern music. Most albums today seem to be 40 minutes of 12+ substance-less tracks loaded with computer-generated beats and vapid lyrics. Not with this album. After I pressed play, it all made perfect sense. You instantly realize the clear investment that he and his team put into the project.

The 20/20 Experience is loaded with lengthy tracks (the shortest song is 4:48) that are filled with real substance and art, both lyrically and musically. The longer play-times really get you invested in each track; and they don’t go downhill after the first five minutes. Just when you think it’s over, he switches up the energy of the song and gives even more.

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One of the best things about the album is that you’re actually listening to quality music. You can tell there was an actual studio session with live instruments and talented musicians, not computers and sound machines. It could’ve just been my Marshall headphones that amplified the listening experience, but every track sounds was layered with a number of great elements. As if Justin’s amazing vocals weren’t already enough to keep you entertained, the editing was well-done (like during the harmonization in Don’t Hold The Wall). You could easily dissect each sound, but it all blends so perfectly together. Each track paints a beautiful picture that’s crystal clear.

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Finally, the album was very tasteful; better yet, gentlemanly. He said it all without being pointlessly inappropriate in any type of way. He created a stellar piece of work with class, unlike most other male R&B artists that are popular right now. Also, he didn’t jump on the euro-technopop bandwagon and sacrifice his sound or art for dollar signs. It’s just authentic “rhythmopop” (my made-up term for music that fuses pop and R&B into one sound). Thankfully, this album didn’t disappoint me one bit. I’m excited to have a great new addition to my music library. Oh, and of course I’m looking forward to Volume II later this year… #spoiler [presses play]

Get a dose of [good] music. Buy your copy of The 20/20 Experience today on iTunes.

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