Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ryan reviews Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience"

Written by: Ryan C. Burns

In order to keep up with the ever-growing field of published music, Riff N' Ralk, Music Tock has expanded to the printed word to review music. Want Alex or Ryan to write a lengthy, well-thought-out essay about your favorite albums? Leave a comment below, or write on our 
Facebook wall and we will give it a fair shot!

When posed with the question, "What is the most embarrassing career you can think of?" numerous options come to mind. Being a Sportscaster is pretty miserable. A paid actor who pretends their life has been miraculously changed by an infomercial sucks. Repeat Mauri Povich guest, unacceptable. Those occupations pale in comparison to the ultimate embarrassment; that of being a member of a hugely popular boy band.

Most boy bands fade into obscurity, allowing those fortunate members to obtain gainful employment in more humble fields. Few are stricken with the unalterable fate of being stuck in a boy band forever. Of all the poor sons of bitches that somehow broke through the walls of the bleached-and-spiky-haired prison, one stands tall above the rest: Justin Timberlake. His enormity has taken him far beyond the plane of music, from the gargantuan b-band N'Sync, into the realm of sketch comedy and making mediocre movies.

Justin's newest endeavor, the album The 20/20 Experience, marks his third solo piece since his emancipation from N'Sync in 2002. Produced by Timbaland and J-Roc, this album continues the trend of delivering poppy dance floor standards that we are going to be forced to listen to for the next ten years. Tracks such as the schizophrenic “Don't Hold the Wall” provide listeners with an addicting beat, complete with Timbaland's fun-to-find random background noises. All the while JT croons about making it with some girl or something.

Even on some of the weaker songs of the album listeners can still find a certain part that they like. Be it the vocal skill of Timberlake, the undeniable charm of J-Roc's arrangements, or their brilliant collaboration about having sex in a car in outer space.

The entire album spans a wide range of musical inspirations and places for JT to seduce women and make people dance all day. For the most part pop albums tend to lose their charge after the half way mark of the album, not with this gem. The final three songs are like a refreshing second wind. The final track in particular ("Blue Ocean Floor") is a hazy, semi-backwards song about having sex with a woman in the sea or something. It's molasses like pace feels like the coda to a fun filled night of being seduced by Justin Timberlake, former boy-band member.

I highly recommend listening to this album. Don't get too caught up on the ubiquity of the album's first single, “Suit & Tie,” we will be hearing it in our heads forever. I'm sure JT is sick of his own song as well. The rest of the album, however, is well worth the money and effort!

Final Say: Buy It!!

Keep your eyes peeled for the next episode of Riff N' Ralk, Music Tock. Where Alex and Ryan interview Metempsychosis's Neil Struble. They also will review the long awaited David Bowie effort, The Next Day.