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Ratings and reviews for The 20/20 Experience

Ratings and reviews for The 20/20 Experience
4.2
based on 455 rating(s)
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Price: $11.98 $6.04 (35% off)
Trade In Value: $4.50
Artist(s): Justin Timberlake
Release Date: 3/19/2013
Binding: Audio CD
Running Time: 70 minutes
Number of Discs: 1
Studio: Sony Legacy
Manufacturer: Sony Legacy
Product Group: Music
Sales Rank: 535
Description: 2013 release, the third solo album from the Grammy and Emmy winning Pop superstar, actor and former member of N*Sync. The 20/20 Experience is the long-awaited follow-up to his album FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006). The album features collaborations with producers Timbaland and Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon as well as a guest appearance from rapper Jay-Z on the album's first single 'Suit & Tie'.
UPC: 887654785022

Ratings
Reviews 1 to 10 of 455
Pageof 46
amazon logo Timberlake re-defines the "album"
Dang seven years? What happened to my life...!

Timberlake's new album is different for a pop album in that a majority of the songs contain quite varied passages and are over five minutes long. The album is 70 minutes long and it contains ten tracks, and each song is its own rollercoaster, weaving different rhythms into a cohesive "experience." It almost feels like a double album because of the expansiveness of the content. Of-course this type of length isn't new in other genres, like classical, or post-rock and edm type music, but in a vocal based pop album I haven't seen it. Timberlake takes us on a ride, and it's awesome.

I honestly can't think of anyone who I'd actually want to hear make a seven minute pop song, and when I first saw the track lengths I was a little befuddled. Ofcourse all my apprehension disappeared upon listening to the album through. As a fan of groups like "Rachel's," "Phantogram," and "Zeds Dead" type stuff I really appreciate the musicality that Timberlake brings here. There's no one genre I feel like I can pin him in. He goes everywhere using elements from classic soul (pusher love girl, that girl) to indie experimental (Blue Ocean Floor) to hitting on the classic Timberlake sound we're used to (Mirrors). The thing is, each one of these different Timberlakes that we see is nothing short of brilliant. I hate to admit it, but the dude is a current music genius. Sure he's probably had good guidance, but here's a guy who's pretty much got it all, and yeah as a 29 year old dude maybe I'm a bit jealous.

The only real criticism that I've seen is that Timberlake may not expand enough on the type of vibe he showed us before on "Futuresex/Lovesounds" but to be honest that was a pretty good sound and he does build upon it here. The vibe is more complete and you can tell he put in the utmost effort into making this album all is could be. Timberlake is one of the few artists that is unmistakable when you hear him. You just know a Justin Timberlake song when you hear one, and to me that's the sign of a great artist.

My favorite tracks:

"Blue Ocean Floor," Beautiful closing track. Shows the beauty of his voice well and this song is truly a sonic journey. Deep bass, swaying synths and his voice is clear and true here. Unexpected but an incredible track.

"Mirrors," Love the musicality of this track and yes I'm a sucker for this "vintage Timberlake" type vibe. Great theme about examining oneself and how you live your life. This is a pop-song on steroids and it's a great journey.

"Pusher Love Girl," I love the classic R and B feel here and the horns add a great "aroma" to the track. Can't believe some of the high notes he hits seemingly with ease. Saw him perform this live on late night and anyone who questions his voice can put their apprehension to rest. It's for real.

Hard to believe it's been seven years, and it's even harder to believe that it seems like he hasn't missed a step since then. If anything could possibly be as good as or better than "Futuresex/Lovesounds," this is it.

----------

Addendum: Those looking for strictly the "old Timberlake" may be slightly disappointed. There isn't much that is completely by the book here musically and that's why this album is such a brilliant journey. But inevitably an artist must grow. Personally I don't think this is a huge departure from the sound he's provided us before, it's just more layered. If your on the fence about the album I think you'll find out pretty fast if it'll be worth it for you by sampling a couple of the tracks above, or on one of the many programs that allow you to play songs.
49 of 62 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo You should be ashamed
Seriously? People are listening to boy band music again because one of them was in some facebook movie and wears a suit now? It sounds like car commercial music. Things that remind you this is the yuppie generation all over again.
6 of 38 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo Music You Can See
PREFACE:

First Justin Timberlake partakes in the history of rap on Saturday Night Live. Now he has taken us on a tour of what R&B used to be before it turned into autotuned mush.

I must say that I have not been so excited about a new R&B release since D'Angelo, Jaheim, Musiq Soulchild and Calvin Richardson put their albums out. I'm so jaded with most of the current R&B that I mainly stick to the tunes that I have from the 80's and prior.

This CD tells a musical story. It begins with James Brown who is the Godfather of BOTH Soul and Rap (we would not have Rap as we know it without the signature James Brown beats and samples). It then continues on with musicians who have either been STRONGLY influenced by James Brown, worked with him, or both. The CD comes full circle as it ends with a James Brown statement.

This CD is full of love songs that are too funky to be sappy. It has a retro feel to it.

With the exception of Blue Ocean Floor, each song seems to be 2 songs. That should tell you that filler music was in short supply here.

To be fair, JT has been provided with excellent songwriters. The songwriting credits belong to mainly James Fauntleroy, Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon, Timothy Mosley & Justin Timberlake.

The production and songwriting combination for this one album is reminiscent of the team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (think Janet Jackson and the SOS band). It is truly a journey, just as making and listening to music should be.

Timbaland makes his strong production presence known on the entire CD. Timbaland's staccato style was NOT one that has captured my attention in the past. So when I read that he was the primary producer, I was a bit ambivalent. I am glad that I heard "Suit & Tie" before I knew Timbaland's contributions or I might not have given JT a fair chance. Thankfully, Timbaland uses his trademark "stutter" style sparingly and is able to transcend his musical past.

I found that the length of each song fascinated me (most last 7 or more minutes) and was time well spent to get comfortable with the development of excellent, non-repetative material. It reminds me of how Isaac Hayes used to record songs that were easily 8 minutes long, indulging himself in jamming rather than making a quick track.

CD REVIEW:

I would be here all night if I were to create an exhaustive list of the musical influences. James Brown, Prince, D'Angelo, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, the Ohio Players, the SOS band, Michael Jackson, Debarge, Music Soulchild, Kenny Latimore, and most surprisingly DJ Screw are the muses that I could decipher. I am sure that there are more.

1. Pusher Love Girl - A lush Orchestral introduction reminiscent of James Brown's "It's A Man's World", and transforms itself into a Gospel Organ sound and much vocal syncopation and eventually takes a funky lope, using the trademark James Brown background squeal sample. A mix of Prince and D'Angelo with Wyclef production (think of his "Guantanamera" and his production of Whitney Houston's "Your Love is My Love). The punchy percusion kicks in. Horns reminiscent of the 70's Ohio Players and Tower of Power. Funky! Funky! Funky!

2. Suit & Tie - This song blew me away the very first time I heard it. I did not who the artist was. Once I researched it, I found that it was Justin Timberlake. One of my top two favorite songs on the CD.

It is a study of the conglomeration of many styles of music (70's soul and funk, 80's funk, 90's neo-soul and 90's "Chopped and Screwed" retro mix and match).

Wonderful harp intertwined with a thumping bass line, horns (synthasized). The song has five distinct parts, a "slowed-down" introduction just north of being "Slowed and Throwed", the upbeat dance part, and again, the pitched down, "slowed down" vibe with "Dirty South" drum beat portion with Jay-Z rapping. The rap portion neither adds nor takes away from the song. The last portion is again ventures into the slurred Chopped & Screwed technique. I must say that being from Houston where Chopped and & Screwed was invented, I have rarely heard it outside of Houston, and I have never heard it in a R&B mainstream tune. Then back to the dance tempo. The entire mix works. I just love this song! I hear remnants of Rufus, Debarge, Marvin Gaye.

A QUICK ASIDE: For those people, including myself, who didn't understand the origins of "Chopped and Screwed" music, A DJ takes the record of another recording artist and slows it down to about 60 bpm on the quarter note. It originated in Houston, Texas as a simulation of the effects of drinking "Syrup" or "Sizzurp", a prescription Coedine/Promethazine/ where fruit soda and Jolly Rancher is added to the concoction. The supposed effect is the slowing down of aural perception to a crawl (thus the term, "Slowed & Throwed") and possible death. Kids, don't try this at home, or anywhere, for that matter. This drink was made popular by the late DJ Screw, the originator of the genre of Screwed and Chopped music (and victim to the said concoction) and has been recently put on the map as the alleged cause of popular rapper Lil' Wanyne's recent and recurring seizures.

3. "Don't Hold the Wall" Timbaland 7:11 - Has that Beyonce' "Run the World (Girls)" and Lil' Kim "Jump Off' beat with a more interesting melody. The beat is actually "jungle" beat. I have also heard it on a drumline (think marching band). Hints of Funkadelic's "Flashlight" are here as well. It kind of grew on me a little.

4. "Strawberry Bubblegum" Timbaland 8:00 - This starts off with the classic Timbaland herky jerkey staucatto. It morphs from slightly irritating to a nice beat that is a lot smoother, nicer, yet still upbeat and danceable. It reminds me of the SOS band. Nice vocals, excellent harmony, thoughtful horns, percusion and other instrumentation. It ends with a funky Sly Stone "Family Affair" vibe. YES!!!!

5. "Tunnel Vision" Timbaland 6:47 - This too is classic Timbaland herky jerkey staucatto. It's closer to the current state of pop music. My least favorite tune.

6. "Spaceship Coupe" Timbaland 7:17 - A nod to the Prince growl, and the Ron Isley and Marvin Gaye smooth vocals with a modern twist. I like it.

7. "That Girl" Timbaland - Wow! Another funky tune. Horns ablaze. This tune reminded my of Debarge, Musiq Soulchild, and Kenny Lattimore. The vocal harmonies which include baritone/bass vocals are a nod to the Dixie Hummingbirds (1920's to present Gospel group), the Temptations and Prince. You will hardly hear some many male vocal parts in an R&B tune unless you listen to vintage Gospel quartets, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, or on occasion, Prince. I LOVE THIS SONG!!!!

8. "Let the Groove Get In" Timbaland 7:12
A hint of Michael Jackson's "Got to Be Starting Something" with a Gloria Estefan twist. A bit repetitive, but then just as I said that, the landscape of this song morphed into something else. I could have done without this one.

9. "Mirrors" - This is more in line with the current incarnation of Pop-driven "R&B", minus any obvious auto-tuning. Synth heavy, I would consider it more like "Pop", at least the first 5 minutes of the tune. If it is auto-tuned it is not overdone and totally robotic sounding. I was not impressed with this song until I heard the last 3 minutes which was more funked up, focusing on the a bass line rather than synths. I really like the last part of this song.

10. "Blue Ocean Floor" Timbaland 7:19 - A slow, dreamy, trippy, synth filled tune. A nice way to come down off the adrenaline high that you will feel when you listen to this CD. This last song again brings in the James Brown orchestral strings and it comes full circle.

My only complaint is that I wish that a live orchestra could have been used in the recording of this CD rather than synths. I think that as great as this CD was, it would have been PERFECT had they done that. JT, you were the Executive Producer. You had the money to do it. Why not do it?

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

In all honesty, I had TOTALLY ignored Justin Timberlake after the Janet Jackson Superbowl "Nipplegate" debacle. Although he did the clothes snatching, she took the entire brunt of the blowback (complete with an FCC investigation and fine), and he distanced himself and was not at all supportive of her. Her hot career went on the decline while his soared. Eventually, he publically apologized to her (6 years later) for his silence and lack of support and has listed as one of his regrets. I suppose they have both moved on. So can I, I suppose.

SUMMARY

I enjoyed the album immensely. I can separate art from the person.

But JT certainly did not stand up for Janet Jackson as Frank Sinatra did for Sammy Davis Jr. when he
was vilified by the press and public.

Sinatra risked career suicide when he refused to throw SDJ under the bus when Davis made a very dangerous and controversial choice in his private life.

But I hope that Justin Timberlake can at some point in time appreciate the struggle that CREATED THE HISTORY of R&B and respect the gestalt. When you respect that, you respect the artists as the creative human beings as they are, unconditionally, not just when it is convenient and expedient. You don't run at the first sign of trouble. You show guts and loyalty. In the future, I hope that JT becomes half the man Sinatra was, should it be called for.
24 of 35 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo Plain and simple
This album is mediocre, at best. The hype did not live up. Please listen to the full album before you buy it.
11 of 34 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo Dated, hated and jaded....
I'm not gonna sugar coat this review, and Amazon had better not delete it. Since the Grammy's, we have been inundated with countless hype of "Justin's upcoming album." This coincides with his appearances on SNL, commercials, etc. I'll be brutally honest. It sucks and there's nothing to write home about it. Yes, he has a nice, smooth voice. This has been proven before with FutureSex/LoveSounds album. It's nothing that hasn't been heard before. Granted, the arrangements over this new record seem to be different and think outside the box, but it's outside in an area that's about as blase' and boring as an unemployment line.

All of the songs for the most part sound the same. The only one that stood out to me was "Blue Ocean Floor," with the reversed piano playing throughout. But if I want to hear a hip song using reverse fx, I'd go put on "Paul Revere" by the Beastie Boys. The last song I heard on the deluxe version was "Body Count," which is reminiscent of your typical Timbaland production--and last time I checked it wasn't 2007 anymore. I just don't know. I previewed this album with hopes of another "Sexy Back" (which I absolutely HATED but it grew on me), but the songs all fall short.

Maybe he's just come of age, and trying to appeal to a different market. I think he'd fair well as a contemporary jazz/blues singer...like Harry Connick Jr. Mature album? Yes. Any memorable pop hits, #1 potential?? Absolutely NOT.

Sadly, the fans and public will yet again have the sheets pulled over their eyes, thinking this is the definitive album of 2013. All because of the massive hype and promotion circulating around it. I remember another album years ago, that had much hype surrounding IT, and many songs cracked the Top 10 charts. And the singer had a smooth, memorable voice as well. It was Michael Jackson's "Thriller." At least Michael delivered on the hype.

"20/20 Experience" is DEFINITELY no "Thriller."
9 of 32 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo No Pop
There's a place for competent pop music. Unfortunately this effort has no place at all. There's just nothing here. The simple 2- and 3-note melodies are worthy of a middle school songwriter, but nothing to run out and buy. Likewise, the lyrical themes could have been written by a high-schooler at the lunchroom table. Besides being incredibly weak musically and lame lyrically, the songs become LONG 6-8 minute mindless track loops.
They'll likely sell a bunch of this tripe due only to hefty advertising and seemingly endless plugs on every TV show that would have him. There are much better choices available, even for grade school girls with more hormones than judgement. Don't stoop to this cynical attempt to cash in. Keep looking.
9 of 31 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo Although I haven't bought it...
I just played all the clips. Two stood out as average. Strawberry Bubblegum and Mirrors. The rest not so good. Pass
3 of 30 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo VERY DISAPPOINTING!!!
I was really looking forward to finally getting more music from JT and almost bought this new CD without listening to the samples first. I'm so glad I didn't do that! What the heck is this crap?!? Please give me the old JT back.
8 of 27 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo Sexy is back
It's been 7 years since Justin Timberlake's last album and in that time, he's become a movie star and also gotten married. He appears to have taken some of the atmosphere and drama of movies and applied it to his music, with most songs clocking past 7 minutes and taking unexpected turns; epic and cinematic. Produced by Timbaland, the sound is futuristic and retro, lavish or spare at the drop of a hat.

Opening the album is "Pusha Love Girl" with a string-swathed overture leading to a falsetto-sung mid tempo strut and an electro hip hop coda. "I'm just a j-junkie for your love" he sings. Still mid tempo is lead single "Suit & Tie" with an eighties Soul groove and a rap by Jay-Z.

"Don't Hold The Wall" is a meandering tune with Mid Eastern flourishes, rattling percussion, and an obtuse tempo change at the 4:20 mark. "Strawberry Bubblegum" is a trippy experimental piece that wouldn't sound out of place on a Frank Ocean or Miguel album.

Other standouts are the skeletal horn-peppered retro Soul "That Girl", the funky riotous percussion-driven MJ-channelling "Let The Groove In" (with horns darting all over the place), the lovely "Mirrors" (which reminds one of his hit "Cry Me A River"), and the closing spare woozy "Blue Ocean Floor" which allows him to shine vocally.

Those seeking dance floor bangers like "Rock Your Body" or "Sexy Back" will be disappointed. Those willing to grow along with him will be taken on an interesting ride. Sexy is back though all mature, slower and sensual.
17 of 25 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo another broke Michael Jackson
well i watch the tv show 20/20 and lets say Justin Timberlake isn't seeing Hugh Downs. when i think about Timberlake i feel like i'm watching somebody who is acting a part and not really believing the role. vocally he just doesn't have the goods and musically while the project is well polished he simply doesn't have that kick to make anything his own. when i think about Kenny Loggins, Michael Mcdonald,Darryl Hall to George Michael they had a duet partner who allowed them to shine. to me if Timberlake could get into a power duo with say Bruno Mars or someone it might lead him to finally finding his own voice instead of trying to being a wannabe smooth R&B singer which he only slightly mimicks however doesn't get the soul down.

for instance the lead single "suite and tie" which has a vh1 men strikes back type of production number in the James Brown for tv " sex Machine" finds Timberlake trying to be cool and coy however he comes off corny.

and Timberland is never going to be in Quincy Jone's area code even if he can afford to buy a house on the same block as Quincy Jones, he just doesn't have that next level ear. and that is what is missing from timberlake that kind of ear which would take him away from the karoke phase, which while as a entertainment factory is funny and cool on Saturday night live, just doesn't translate to a album and by the way it doesn't take a genius to liven up Saturday Night Live because that show should have been gone years ago to me.

anyway thius album has to many long winded short idea and tired vocals by a act who just doesn't have those kind of chops.

i just don't feel his approach to music is Authentic and i feel he is D W Griffth'in his thing in regards to R&B. his voice and music leaves me cold and it feels very much in line with Pat Boone much like how he rode off of Little Richard back in the 50's.

also timberlake ain't doing nothing thar Ginuwine didn't attempt to do with timberland back in the 90's. and Stevie Wonder can see that being a broke Michael Jackson is all flash and half the vision. if Timberlake truly wants to further his musical ideas well maybe the duo thing might be a stroke of a wonder because thus far solo its smoking mirrors and more fog than clear skies. his writing and vocals gotta step up and he ain't no band leader and no band can hide the Generic soul. and just when i think nobody can be anymore corny than Robin Thicke here comes this album and that wounded Lamb sounding falsetto.
6 of 24 people found this review helpful.

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