Ear Candy: Justin Timberlake ~ The 20/20 Experience

I still remember the first time I heard a Justin Timberlake song. I was at a club and his first solo single, Like I Love You came on. I was heavily into The Neptunes then and immediately recognized their work. When I finally found out who it was and saw the video, I was impressed. Over the years, I’ve come to respect his artistry. I liked some of his songs, thought he was a great dancer and later on, came to find out he’s also a good actor and comedic. I never ‘checked’ for him and just came across things as they were released. I wouldn’t say I was a big fan of his…that is until now!

Call it marketing greatness but you can’t go very far without hearing something JT related on the net or otherwise. His first single in 6 yrs, Suit & Tie came out and honestly, I wasn’t fond of it. It had to grow on me before I could say I like it. Then he performed it on the Grammys along with the track that became one of my faves, Pusher Lover Girl. Two weekends before the release date, Justin hosted and performed on Saturday Night Live and did a great job. The week following that, he was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon every night doing some comedic skits and performing songs. This was when my love for JT grew. First of all, Fallon and Timberlake are a great and funny combo but it was Justin’s performances that week that really impressed me. Even though iTunes had been streaming the whole album for free, the performances on Fallon were a better way to preview the album. It also shows a glimpse of what you may see when Justin goes on tour with Jay-Z in the summer…which I’m REALLY looking forward to.

The 20/20 Experience was released on March 19th with tons of buzz surrounding it. Most of my FB/Twitter friends already had their favorites picked by the time the album came out. Justin collaborates with well known producer, Timbaland on what a lot of people are calling ‘the best R&B album of the year’. It’s hard for me to disagree with that bold statement. It’s been a long time since an album, especially a mainstream one, grabbed and held me hostage on my first listen but this album did. It feels like an understatement to say that I’m thoroughly enjoying this album. There is not one track that I don’t like. Basically, there are more songs that I LOVE than like. It’s only 10 songs long (with 2 extras on the deluxe version) but each one is amazing in its own way. Production wise, Timbaland really did his thing on the album. There are a few songs where the beat changes up at the end and Timbaland does that very well indeed. I love Justin’s diversity here. There are songs with different types of flavors of music and it’s well sequenced so it’s an enjoyable full listen.

Lady’s Faves

Note: I usually pick 3 songs to talk about and it was HARD so I picked 4 but I could’ve went on! The album is just THAT GOOD! Go get it by clicking on the album artwork above!

Pusher Love Girl - I first heard this song when Justin performed it on the Grammys. I have to admit it didn’t catch me at first. I just thought it was interesting; a different vibe then what I’m used to hearing from him. It wasn’t until iTunes started streaming it for free before the album’s release that I fell in love. I love the soul in Justin’s voice on this track as he sings lyrics describing a love for a girl so good that it’s addictive.

Strawberry Bubblegum - The vibe on this track is so smooth. I was drawn to this song immediately. It’s one of many tracks that shows Justin’s diversity. Strawberry Bubblegum is also one of the songs with a change up at the end. The way it changes to a bossa nova vibe at the end definitely makes this one a fave of mine.

Tunnel Vision - This song is pretty much everything you would expect in a Timbaland produced track. It has a heavy beat with Timbaland’s signature sound. It reminded me how much I miss R&B tracks of the same vibe. I love blasting this song in my car!

Let The Groove Get In – The Latin groove is apparent on this one. Every time I hear this song, I want to dance. I’ve even caught myself swaying in my chair at work! I immediately loved this song and didn’t think it would be possible to love it even more…until I saw him perform it on Jimmy Fallon alongside The Roots! I love the performance so much, I embedded the video just so you can see it yourself! Be sure to pause the blog's music player but going to the left of the bottom bar.

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