By: Ryan Burns
|No use hiding JT, we can all see you.|
Just when I thought Justin had made a pretty enjoyable album for 2013 he turns right around and releases a second part that no one knew about. Rumor has it he had a boxing vocabulary-littered album slated to be released before 20/20pt.2, but he lost the flash drive with the only copy of the album on the way to the manufacturer. In the stead of that tragedy, we have been treated to the less impressive second installation of 20/20.
Exactly forty-eight hours after “Suit and Tie” had faded from the airwaves and the catchy melody of “Mirrors” had solidified in our ear canals, the narcotic-infused hit “Take Back the Night”…hit. It reminds me of Robin Thicke’s numerous efforts of building on the catchy themes of 1970’s R&B and Disco songs, only better. “Take Back” is 100% a party song, complete with numerous background voices akin to certain Marvin Gaye songs. The various people singing along carry on the melody at the end of the song as if the recording studio had a hootenanny going on during the sessions. It truly is a delight. Due to its freshness, it isn’t as annoying as “Suit & Tie”, but I feel that soon may change, like every single top 40 hits since 1992.
Jay-Z makes a delightfully hilarious appearance on the song “Murder” saying crazy shit like “She got that Yoko Ono. You know that shit that made John Lennon go solo. Know that shit gotta be lethal, if that pussy broke up the Beatles.” The song is otherwise set up to be a club hit. Throbbing bass and horns set the scene for JT to play around in. It’s a pretty good song, but has the potential to be quite annoying if overplayed.
Much to my surprise, the song “TKO” caught me off guard. This gem is filled with boxing terms! I can only imagine that it is a callback to the lost fisticuff concept album JT was planning to release this year as well. A sort of memorial for what could have been. This song graces us with such wonderful lines as, “Tried to go below the belt, through my chest, perfect hit to the dome“. Further into the song, Timbaland lent his voice, discussing getting his ass kicked by a vagina or something. I wept with joy during this song.
The effect heavy “Only When I Walk Away” was a very unsatisfying song. It seemed too long and there was nothing particularly interesting about it, UNTIL the last minute. I don’t know what the producers were thinking. Out of nowhere this fucking song turned into a bad throwback to 1970’s dub music, complete with awful reggae horns that so many contemporary University town DJs love to use. It seemed that the producers aim was to be ironic and nostalgic. All it made me think about was other, better music I could have been listening to. Fortunately, the song ended and the rest of the album was quite enjoyable.
Overall, the album is kind of impressive. JT clearly had numerous songs built up from the 20/20 sessions. I’m not sure if this was intended to be a follow-up album or B-sides. A lot of songs are pretty good and catchy, but they certainly don’t stand up against the monster album Future Sex/Love Sounds or even 20/20pt.1. I can only hopelessly wonder what could have been if only JT had been a little more careful with the master recordings for Welter Weight, the boxing album that should have been…
Final Say: Buy the Complete Experience. It’s worth it as a whole.