It has been seven years since Justin Timberlake released “FutureSex/Lovesounds”, and he has finally returned to making albums. But who’s counting?
The multitalented celebrity took a long break to focus on acting when he appeared opposite Mila Kunis in “Friends With Benefits”, 2011, and as the founder of Napster in “The Social Network” in 2010. Because I appreciate anything the man does, no one was happier to hear he was returning to the music scene that I was! Timberlake appeared on Saturday Night Live March 9 as both the host and musical guest.
He was officially inducted into the “Five Timers Club” among popular actors like Steve Martin and Tom Hanks. He also announced a US summer tour with Jay-Z where the two are rumored to appear on stage the entire time together.
His album “The 20/20 Experience” dropped this Tuesday and immediately made the number one spot on the iTunes top albums list. “Suit & Tie” and “Mirrors” are the first two singles from the album. While “Suit & Tie” has a newer sound than what we’re used to, “Mirrors” sounds more like a classic Timberlake hit we all know and love.
He experiments with all kinds of new sounds on this album, as most artists that take a seven-year hiatus should. The opening track “Pusher Love Girl” is my current favorite and begins with a string orchestra that reminds the listener of a classic Disney movie, until the beat sets in.
The song builds into what may become a summer favorite. While some of the songs sound like late nightclub grinds, “Strawberry Bubblegum”, others like “Let the Groove Get In” and “Don’t Hold the Wall” experiment with a more tribal sound mixed with some synthesized beats that are catchy, but deviate from JT’s classics. “That Girl” is in a category of its own by opening with “JT and the Tennessee Kids” playing a smooth big band ballad, trumpets and all.
When I first listened to it, I was skeptical that this album had been overhyped. However, the more I listened, I became confident that Timberlake knew what he was doing in the studio. He has put out an album that tests the limits and reinvents his image as a mature, savvy, suit wearing, and ladies’ man.
There isn’t a song on this album that a listener couldn’t find the slightest bit catchy. Well done, JT! It’s good to have you back.