We had to wait seven years for new music from Justin Timberlake. But once the dam burst, well, let's just say the trickle has turned into a raging rapid. In less than seven months, Timberlake has doubled his solo album output, giving starved fans more than 140 minutes of new material.
He got his weight up thanks to the upcoming release of The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2 ,the second half of his smash return-to-form. The 74-minute collection, streaming now and due in stores Monday, is the companion piece to March's surprise 20/20 Experience, which retains the title of 2013's best-selling album so far.
Working again with longtime musical bro Timbaland, as well as producer Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon, 2 of 2 is a further exploration into Timberlake's long-listen suite of sensual soul throwback disco and languid ballads, led by the dance-ready "Take Back The Night" and hard-hitting "TKO" singles. And, in keeping with his career-long tendency to feature carefully curated hip-hop cameos, it has verses from pal Jay Z and Drake.
We've already told you what fans think, so what do the critics have to say about 2 of 2 ? Read on to find out.
"Timberlake trades in the elegance of the first album for something more sanguine, more hedonistic. He sings of animalistic desire and lurid fantasies, exploring metaphors of boxing, blood and murder over tracks packed with spiky horns, jagged guitar riffs and unspooling synthesizers. The album's bottom-heavy production — as is also the case with his 15-piece touring band — creates a visceral listening experience.
The first half of Timberlake's Experience felt contented in its relationships, often celebratory; Part 2 is no less committed, but it addresses the darker, more warped impulses. Musically, the endeavor is as ambitious as anything attempted by the soul greats Timberlake clearly admires: Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield." — Brian Mansfield, USA Today
"Apparently [Timbaland] saved his haymakers for round 2, because he's in full classic-Timba mode here: The Drake-assisted 'Cabaret' builds a symphony of mouth noises that recalls Aaliyah's 'Are You That Somebody?,' and 'True Blood' is so 1997 that it's shocking there's not a guest verse by Mase (that's a compliment). Those throwback blasts give 2 of 2 a more immediate punch than its predecessor." — Kyle Anderson, Entertainment Weekly
Hot And Bothered Lyrics
"On the positive side, [the songs ] hang well together. There's a certain strategy at work here. On the disc released earlier this year, Timberlake adopted a suit-and-tie suave, playing a modern R&B answer to Fred Astaire. This time, he strips that off to work the flesh below. In the opening track, 'Gimme What I Don't Know I Want,' Timberlake urges his lover to 'get closer to your animal inside,' while by the next song, 'True Blood,' he's down to smelling her bodily fluids, and ogling 'evil in a dress.'
" 'Murder' — another duet with JT's partner-in-bromance, Jay-Z — benefits from its hip-hop hardness. It also has a rhyme from Jay, about Yoko Ono's power over John Lennon, that's as hilarious as it is filthy." — Jim Farber, New York Daily News