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Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2: A Track By Track Review

Posted by Jessica Gold on 10/10 at 05:52 PM


The wait finally ended for Justin Timberlake’s fans worldwide last Monday, September 30th because The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2 hit stores and iTunes. As mentioned in the preview of this album, there are 11 tracks with two bonuses called “Blindness” and “Electric Lady” on the deluxe version.

Overall, the second part continues to exhibit JT’s musical genius. However, there is no comparison as to which installment I think is the best. Part one is significantly better than part two because I like every single song on it. Part two seems to be the darker side of the ‘complete experience.’ While part one is fully comprised of love songs, part two dives into the ocean of sadness and heartbreak.

The only song I absolutely dislike is “True Blood.” I think that “Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want),” “TKO,” “Amnesia,” and “Only When You Walk Away” are good songs musically speaking, but personally they just aren’t my favorite tracks. On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed “Cabaret,” “Take Back The Night,” “Murder,” “Drink You Away,” “You Got It On” and “Not A Bad Thing.”

Timberlake’s voice is consistent throughout the album, but he doesn’t seem to take as many vocal risks as part one. His range basically stays the same on every song, and he doesn’t add rifts or any other voical flavorings.

Here’s my tracklist breakdown:

1. Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want)

The production of this track sounds like typical Timberland. There are tons of beat-boxing noises in the background, but the hook is pretty catchy. It says:

“Now take me to your jungle, I’m not afraid

And if you’re looking for your animal, hop in my cageFall in a terror of height, don’t talk
Come in, come in, gimme what I don’t know, I want
Come in, come in, gimme what I don’t know, I want
Come in, come in, gimme what I don’t know, I want
Come in, come in, gimme what I don’t know, don’t know, I want>
Come in, come in, gimme what I don’t know, I want.”

In my opinion, it’s not necessarily a dancing track, but it did have me nodding my head to the beat. Also, the song doesn’t seem to have verses even though according to MetroLyrics it does. I guess the verses just didn’t keep my attention because to me it sounds like the entire song is a repetition of the pre-chorus and chorus. It’s definitely not one of my favorites on the album.

2. True Blood

When I heard this song, I felt like I just stepped foot in a club full of Gogo dancers dancing erotically. This is my least favorite song on the album. It sounds kind of like techno music in my opinion, until the end when the music switches up. There’s like a creepy laugh on the hook and JT sings in robotic nature throughout the approximately ten minute song. Even though I’m not too fond of it, it reminds me of a newer version of “Thriller” because its edgy, but it’s a dance/club track.The choreography in “Thriller’s” video would actually be perfect for “True Blood” as well.

3. Cabaret ft. Drake

I really like this song. It reminds me of when Timberlake first became a solo artist because the instrumentals sound as if they could be an up-tempo version of “Cry Me A River.” The hook includes Timbaland’s ad-libs that heighten the energy of the song. Drake’s verse is superb although it is very sexual. I actually think this is one of his best verses on a feature. Drake makes a several references to other famous people such as rapper Lil Boosie, actor Eddie Murphy and athlete Terrell Owens. This is for sure my favorite song on part two.

4. TKO

This song seems to be written about a specific person. It’s about a girl who changes right before JT’s eyes. He says he doesn’t recognize her anymore. I really like how the beat changes at the end of the song. It’s seems like the genre of the song goes from pop to an R&B/hip-hop. The beat incorporates beat-boxing, with more bounce.

5. Take Back The Night

Michael Jackson comes to mind when I listen to this song. It has a lot of groove and it’s soulful. I like this song because it’s very catchy, and the hook plays in your head even after the song is over. I also think it’s a good leading single. However, “Suit and Tie” takes the cake for me, and “Cabaret” really should have been the leading single of part two.

6. Murder ft. Jay-Z

The production of “Murder” sounds similar to a live band playing at a college football game. I like the comparison JT makes as the hook says, “Ohhhh, that girl is murder, everybody get down.” Jay-Z shines again on his second appearance on back on this track and he kills it once again. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The song ends with a guitar playing and Timbaland saying “I line em up, and she shoot em down” in an echoing voice.

7. Drink You Away

“Drink You Away” is about getting over a breakup. I like it because it’s very relatable. When you’re going through a breakup, at times you want to drink away your sorrows, but somehow it still doesn’t make things better when you’re heartbroken. And this is exactly what this song refers to. This song sort of sounds like a country/alternative rock song because of they heavy guitar. It’s pretty different from the pop and R&B sounds Timberlake is known for.

8. You Got It On

This track sounds like a Charlie Wilson song. In case you don’t know who he is, he’s an R&B legend whom is best known for his role as lead vocalist in the Gap Band. It’s interesting that this song channels Wilson because Timberlake was a part of a tribute to him in June at the BET Awards. He also channels a little Marvin Gaye in my opinion because it is very soulful. It’s a slow jam that reminds me of a couple dancing the night away on their wedding anniversary. I’m pretty sure this song is about his wife, Jessica Biel.

9. Amnesia

I don’t really have much to say about this song. It’s a good song overall, but it’s pretty lengthy. “Amnesia” seems to be very personal. It could be about a past breakup JT had where the woman he loved soon became a stranger he used to know. Or, it could be a general breakup song dedicated to his fans that have or are experiencing it.

10. Only When You Walk Away

The roaring of the electric guitar grasps my attention on this song. This song definitely sounds like a rock song. JT talks about a woman only loving him when he walks away. It’s also a relatable topic for those who have gone through the back and forth cycle in a relationship. This song is far too long. It lost my attention way before the seven minutes was up.

11. Not A Bad Thing

Although this song is a little over eleven minutes, I really like it. It sounds very similar to an *NSYNC song. The instrumental has a boy band feel. It sounds very pure and not too manipulated by production. It’s just a simple guitar and drum playing the background. I’m almost positive that the background music is a live band instead of electronically produced. “Not A Bad Thing” is about realizing that falling in love isn’t such a bad thing if it’s with the right person. I find this song specifically relatable because I’m at this point in my own relationship.

Watch the video for “Take Back The Night” below:

{name} Author: Jessica Gold
Bio: Jessica Gold is a senior at the Pennsylvania State University. She is majoring in Print Journalism with double minors in African-American Studies and Sociology. Gold has a love for fashion, style and culture, and plans to work her way through the magazine industry after graduation. Her dream job is to become a writer/editor for Essence, but her ultimate goal is to create her own publication that incorporates multiculturalism in various arenas. She has hopes of achieving this by the time she is 30.


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