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Justin Timberlake

JustinTimberlakeThe 20/20 Experience
Sony

Myspace-owning, Fallon-frequenting, oval-headed pop star, Justin Timberlake has come out with a bass-heavy dance album full of early soul influences and syncopated rhythms. Beginning with Give Me What I Don’t Know (I Want), a track full of bright, slick synth lines and thickly layered samples, tied together by Timberlake’s strong vocal foundation; it then makes the ill-advised decision to include the somewhat ridiculous True Blood, which takes the classy sexuality of Future Sex/Love Sounds and turns it into the musical equivalent of a dancefloor fingerbang.

The classic disco and RnB lines and engaging, visceral dance rhythms Timberlake has sourced are definite album highlights; likewise, the vocal melodies float nicely, and if you close your eyes and really try, you can almost blot out the album’s embarrassingly corny lyrical content.

It’s not a ground-breaking album, but it has its moments. Perhaps the most important lesson we can take from The 20/20 Experience, however, is found in the sort-of-for-a-bit ballad Only When I Walk Away, that Justin Timberlake should never, ever do reggae.

SHAUN COWE

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