The 20/20 Experience

  • Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Mar 19, 2013
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 273 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 273
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  1. Mar 21, 2013
    5
    Alright Justin, you've got some balls on you. I cannot help respecting what Justin Timberlake has done in making The 20/20 Experience. Let us not forget that he's still one of the biggest names in pop music regardless of the time he's had off just look at the amount of hype the album has received: he’s managed to make the cover of naff tween magazines and the front cover of PitchforkAlright Justin, you've got some balls on you. I cannot help respecting what Justin Timberlake has done in making The 20/20 Experience. Let us not forget that he's still one of the biggest names in pop music regardless of the time he's had off just look at the amount of hype the album has received: he’s managed to make the cover of naff tween magazines and the front cover of Pitchfork during the same media frenzy. Yet, he comes back with a pop album made up of ten tracks which average out at seven minutes each. The shortest track is nearly five minutes long, which is kind of remarkable in that he could be so adventurous and bold when he could have played the safe card after such a long solo absence. As a decision, I can take it and admire it for what it is, but that doesn't mean I have to enjoy the decision exactly. See, while the most interesting aspect of the album is the fact that Timberlake hasn't exactly played it safe, it’s also that decision which has made the album a wholly unsatisfying one.

    I have to admit that I really admire The 20/20 Experience as an album and I really admire Justin Timberlake as an artist for embarking on a project that carries a sense of risk and an enormous amount of pressure with it. On the whole The 20/20 Experience is a bold piece of work that, for the most part, displays some of Justin's more adventurous desires when it comes to creating concepts and songs themselves there's some excellent choruses on here and I've come away humming a few of the more obvious future singles. But in the end it leaves Justin sounding a little too full of himself and too involved in the ideas he's clearly had lots of since he started writing this album. Most of the album's tracks should end a good three or four minutes before they do (none of the tracks warrant even being 6 minutes long, never mind 8 minutes) and Justin rarely displays a sense of restraint or ability to know when to just knock out an idea quickly and leave a lasting mark, like he used to in the beginning of his solo career, but there are enough of pop’s most traditional and effective qualities on show to at least make 20/20 enjoyable for the most part. You've got to give credit to Justin for trying something like this, and credit to him for showing slightly more ambition to branch out, but sometimes creases need ironing more than once.
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  2. Mar 19, 2013
    5
    good and nice album but very disappointed because its not good as i thought after waiting 7 years
    and most tracks r over 7 minutes so how can it be on radio and has the success that deserve
    i was thinking it will be the best album in 2013 but i think it will be too hard to acheive that
  3. Mar 19, 2013
    4
    After 7 years, the songs sound too familiar. Timbaland's production really hasn't changed much. Justin maybe growing as an artist, but his songs are not what I expected after the long wait between albums. You can see his focus is more on being an Actor now.

    The songs are way too long. It worked on the Future Sex/ Love Sounds album since they were technically two songs. On 20/20, the end
    After 7 years, the songs sound too familiar. Timbaland's production really hasn't changed much. Justin maybe growing as an artist, but his songs are not what I expected after the long wait between albums. You can see his focus is more on being an Actor now.

    The songs are way too long. It worked on the Future Sex/ Love Sounds album since they were technically two songs. On 20/20, the end of certain songs felt unnecessarily extended. Lyrics are quite poor for a veteran of pop songs. Some lyrics just don't work with what he's trying to portray, but I understand this will album will be universally accepted since we need some Pop 'savior'.
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  4. Mar 19, 2013
    6
    I am not a big fan of JT, although I do think he is talented. I was anxious to hear a new album from him since it had been so long between releases. And, let me say this- it sounds dated. Ultra-electronica sounding (which Usher did late last year). Not that JT's voice is to blame, but I think the producer is where to point the finger. Timaland was the producer and he hasn't made anythingI am not a big fan of JT, although I do think he is talented. I was anxious to hear a new album from him since it had been so long between releases. And, let me say this- it sounds dated. Ultra-electronica sounding (which Usher did late last year). Not that JT's voice is to blame, but I think the producer is where to point the finger. Timaland was the producer and he hasn't made anything good since MIssy Elliot. Additonally the material/subject is nothing extraordinary (which is disappointing) and each song is 7 minutes long leaving a casual fan like me to skip to the next track. Glad I didn't spend money on this. LOL. Expand
  5. Apr 14, 2013
    5
    Justin has made a habit out of taking big breaks between albums, but this was ridiculous. After six and a half years, everyone thought he'd disappeared for good and was completely devoted to acting now, but then, out of the blue, a new single got released with an album coming real soon. Despite the sudden announcement, fans responded well and Mirrors was even a #1 smash for threeJustin has made a habit out of taking big breaks between albums, but this was ridiculous. After six and a half years, everyone thought he'd disappeared for good and was completely devoted to acting now, but then, out of the blue, a new single got released with an album coming real soon. Despite the sudden announcement, fans responded well and Mirrors was even a #1 smash for three consecutive weeks in the UK. But I have to say, the album is not up to par with his opus, Futuresex/Lovesounds. While doing something very different with its retro sound, nearly every song is so slow, bland and boring. It was a big risk and it seems like Justin is the only one who could have success with this as it's so far removed from what the public want. But there are little upsides. Don't Hold The Wall is one of the true urban influenced tunes that might actually encourage people to dance, Spaceship Coupe is so smooth with an amazing electric guitar solo and deluxe edition bonus track, Dress On, is a very sexy little number. Everything else is ok to mediocre to awful with eyebrow raising metaphors for love in Pusher Love Girl and awful atrocities like That Girl and Let The Groove Get In. Justin's lyrics are pretty bad and the biggest issue is with the incredibly long duration of every song. Just when you think it's over, it goes into another level for another 3-4 minutes. Sure, Justin did long songs with his last album, but the transition isn't done well this time and it seems like an extra bit was tacked on to make the songs un-necessarily long and it seems to have no connection to the first half. Long songs are not automatically artsy. It's all about quality, not duration. Sometimes, a song's just meant to end at a certain point. Don't milk it so it becomes an overproduced mess. Justin does have a part 2 to this album due out later this year, so here's hoping he's learned what works and what doesn't this time. But I assume it's going to be more of the same. Expand
  6. Mar 24, 2013
    4
    Very Bland, And Boring... It' Time For Timberlake To Retire In The Music Buisness
  7. Apr 4, 2013
    4
    O CD não ficou muito ruim, mais na minha opinião JT esqueceu que estamos em 2013, a capa do album nos remete a algo novo um "Experience", mas a realidade que todas músicas soam iguais.
    Suit & Tie (ft. Jay-Z) foi escolhida como primeiro single, porque realmente a melhor música do álbum, a minha impressão foi a de estar ouvindo "FutureSex/LoveSounds" do próprio Justin, Será que acabou o
    O CD não ficou muito ruim, mais na minha opinião JT esqueceu que estamos em 2013, a capa do album nos remete a algo novo um "Experience", mas a realidade que todas músicas soam iguais.
    Suit & Tie (ft. Jay-Z) foi escolhida como primeiro single, porque realmente a melhor música do álbum, a minha impressão foi a de estar ouvindo "FutureSex/LoveSounds" do próprio Justin, Será que acabou o reinado do príncipe do Pop?
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  8. May 5, 2013
    6
    Justin Timberlake's latest musical endeavor has some strengths. First, the two singles released thus far are dynamite. Those are, of course, "Mirrors" and "Suit and Tie." His voice is perfect for R&B, as is the production. The entire album has a bit of a throwback feel to it. In "Suit and Tie," his up-tempo soul groove is complete with a horn section (or sample), and it channels JamesJustin Timberlake's latest musical endeavor has some strengths. First, the two singles released thus far are dynamite. Those are, of course, "Mirrors" and "Suit and Tie." His voice is perfect for R&B, as is the production. The entire album has a bit of a throwback feel to it. In "Suit and Tie," his up-tempo soul groove is complete with a horn section (or sample), and it channels James Brown during his heyday. Much of the album echoes the R&B slow jams of the 1990s, so it's kind of a nice homage to a genre that JT fits in perfectly. However, every track drags. A lot. Justin attempts to make these songs a little more epic by lengthening them to about 6-8 minutes. However, there's no real climactic feel to any of the tracks. The become monotonous. The tracks could have been more exciting, had they been given more of a rising action to them. R&B really isn't the best type of music for songwriting that follows a jam band style, where form kind of gets lost, and the song goes on for a good long time. Justin just needs to learn that ending a song at 4 minutes is just fine. It's a slick, well produced, sexy silver platter of good ol' R&B. It's just too long. Expand
  9. Nov 14, 2013
    5
    The right time the right sound the same producer same collaborative team almost exactly what we have heard before. The result is that though Timbaland once proved himself to be a hit maker, he now proves to be not very relevant and slightly out of touch.
  10. Feb 18, 2014
    6
    The slow jams and 'chilled-out' experience flaunts Justin Timberlake's charms and talents while other times, the tracks can just be a drag that feels never-ending.
  11. Feb 14, 2014
    5
    I was disappointed. I listened to this album primarily because of its ambitiousness and basically a return for JT in the music part of his career. But after around 3/4's through the album, I stopped. I just couldn't take it anymore. I have to admit, I was enjoying at some points of the album, it was filled with catchy hooks, some sharp lyrics, but... there's a HUGE flaw in the album: itsI was disappointed. I listened to this album primarily because of its ambitiousness and basically a return for JT in the music part of his career. But after around 3/4's through the album, I stopped. I just couldn't take it anymore. I have to admit, I was enjoying at some points of the album, it was filled with catchy hooks, some sharp lyrics, but... there's a HUGE flaw in the album: its poor song structures. JT's trying too hard to stretch out his songs in order to "conform" to the "at-least-6-minute-songs" rule in the album. I mean, some songs are good, but it gets too repetitive that the listener could easily bored, the song "Mirrors" in particular. It's catchy, meaningful, but again, just like any other song in the album, it's too lazily written just to pan out its length (the awkward phrasing in "You are, you are the love of my life" for example). I could go on and on reviewing this, but I'll just stop there. I guess you already know what I mean. To sum it up, Justin tries. I appreciate his efforts, but this album just hit the ground like a "thud" instead of a "bang". Expand
  12. Jan 27, 2016
    5
    At first I thought that this was a brilliant album, but now I am not too sure it is okay I guess but I certainly prefer the second part of this album but a 70 minute album with about 10 songs just isn't necessary unless it is rock or metal which this clearly isn't
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. This is the kind of record where everyone will have different favorite song, where what someone calls dull or overlong or indulgent will resonate perfectly with someone else, depending on that listener’s past musical tastes and experiences.
  2. May 6, 2013
    80
    The result would be encyclopedia-thumbing pastiche if it weren’t all so carefully curated, and if the production wasn’t so intricately, lavishly produced that as each track stretches into the fifth or sixth or eighth minute it was not still revealing permutations, secrets, strange little surprises.
  3. Apr 17, 2013
    75
    While it may be a little overlong at nearly an hour and a half, there are influences from 40-odd years of pop music expertly melted together by a master craftsman to create an album of consistently brilliant songs.