The 20/20 Experience was recorded in just 20 days, and some have speculated its release was due to contract obligation, nevertheless it’s still JT’s best record since his debut in 2002 (holy sh!t, it’s been that long?!). Jointly produced by frequent collaborator Timbaland, J-Roc, and JT himself, the album sees Timbo at his most inspired again, a relief considering how much he had sucked recently.
JT must be something of a muse to him, but beyond the man himself, The 20/20 Experience is obviously inspired by the recent new wave of r’n’b acts. Frank Ocean had one amorphous song that spans 9 minutes, JT decided he should one-up that by having a whole album consisting of 7 to 8 minute long tracks. It’s pop at its most ambitious, which makes us wonder how well the general public is going to receive it.
While the somewhat Balam Acab-esque beat of ‘Blue Ocean Floor’, super on-the-nose sex as drug opener ‘Pusher Lover Girl’, and lead single ‘Mirrors’ work perfectly, some of the tracks do meander too long that we lost interest by the time they switch up to a more interesting sound. Cut up to 2 separate tracks, songs like ‘Spaceship Coupe’ and ‘Let the Groove Get In’ might work better.
That’s really a minor issue in the end, but what’s unforgivable about the album is that trademark inclusion of Timbo’s own voice. Thankfully the biggest offenders are just bonus tracks (‘Dress On’ and ‘Body Count’) – woulda been an actual 20/20 experience had the album ended on its highest note, ‘Blue Ocean Floor’.
LISTEN TO: ‘Blue Ocean Floor’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: Robin Thicke, the RT to JT