JT disappoints with round two of 20/20


Sequels rarely hit the same notes as their predecessors, a stigma that apparently applies not only to films, but also music albums.

Justin Timberlake, aka the prince of pop, blew the world away six months ago with the release of “The 20/20 Experience,” his first album since 2006 and thus far the best-selling album of 2013.

Fans rejoiced further when JT announced that there was a part two scheduled for release in the same year. But “The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2” is just a sloppy, rushed sequel that will live in part one’s shadow.

The entire double-length album was produced in just 20 days with the help of longtime partner Timbaland, and part one pulled off a cohesive and gentlemanly groove throughout. Part two however jumps all over the place like an album produced in less than a month.

Timberlake isn’t wearing that suit and tie now as the album is dirtier, edgier than part one. The opening track, “Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want),” is full of lyrical jungle metaphors complete with trumpeting elephant sounds. In “Cabaret,” which features rapper Drake, JT belts out “Cause I got you saying Jesus so much it’s like we’re laying in the manger.”

About halfway through, Timberlake suddenly decided to remind listeners of his southern roots as the Memphis native sings about dealing with heartbreak in “Drink You Away”: “The bottom of the bottle/ To fill this empty heart up/ A thousand proof don’t change the truth.”

With the massive 11.5-minute “Not A Bad Thing” (which actually sounds like two distinct songs), JT makes everyone do a double take to make sure it’s just him singing and not the NSYNC reunion VMA viewers were teased with. The only thing setting this track apart from a boy band ballad is its liberal use of the F word, but don’t worry, there will probably be an edited version released for the tweens.

Maybe JT was trying to give everyone something to love with part two, or maybe he lost a little artistic focus after a seven-year hiatus. But the 11-track album does have a few high points.

Second single “TKO” fits in with part one with the same falsetto-sprinkled flow and will undoubtedly garner heavy attention despite its lengthy seven minutes. Another soon-to-be hit is “Murder,” featuring Jay Z, but that’s a given considering nothing bad can come from a JT/Jay Z collaboration.

Whether you’re a JT fan or not, give the sloppy seconds a try, and maybe you’ll find one or two songs you like.