I do not need to tell you that it has been awhile since Justin Timberlake released new music. However, since I do have an irrational attachment to FutureSex/LoveSounds I was so ecstatic on Tuesday when The 20/20 Experience came out. Then I listened to the album. I wouldn’t call it bad, but as an album as a whole I wouldn’t say it’s good. It exists, and as someone who loves JT, to have an album that simply exists isn’t what I expected, to say the least. After listening to it non-stop this entire week, the nicest thing I can say about it is, “The 20/20 Experience will definitely be involved in baby making.”
The album feels as if it doesn’t care what other artists are doing, and JT said, “I’m doing what I want.” Which would be good, if he pushed forward in terms of his music, this album feels like a side step. The album lacks a sense of urgency or a need to prove, it’s like JT is aware of his status and comfortable with his celebrity. I’m sure the album will grow on me but as of right now the majority of the songs, make me say, “I could listen to this eight minute song which doesn’t build to anything or I could listen to another song this JT song reminds me of.” This FBF is my 20/20 playlist, a ten song playlist which is inspired by The 20/20 Experience.
Rules: The song needs to be comparable to the 20/20 song either stylistically (sounds the same), lyrical, or thematically. The song does not need to be another JT song. The songs chosen must be currently on my iPod. I cannot have repeating artists on the playlist unless it is JT.
Quick insight about my iPod. I’m not going through every song on it, but I can give you a quick breakdown of my Top 25 Most Played: 10 by Frank Ocean, 5 by Kendrick Lamar, 2 by Childish Gambino, 2 by The Neighbourhood, 2 from Watch the Throne, 1 each from The White Panda and Mr. Little Jeans. So basically, the rule that I cannot have repeating artist is to make sure my 20/20 playlist isn’t a Frank Ocean playlist. Enjoy.
1. Pusher Love Girl – Pusher Love Girl
Honourable Mention: N/A
Why this song: Spoilers: This will be the only song from the album which will appear on this list. This song will be played by me throughout the entire summer, it’s so good. A minute in, you’ll be swooning. Go listen to it now and hit repeat.
Honourable Mention: SexyBack Urban Noize Remix by Justin Timberlake
Why this song: I remember my friends being split with this song. Some people love it and other people hate it. I think people didn’t like it because it wasn’t SexyBack. That’s the story for this album, no songs feels like a bonafide single. I picked the Dillon Francis remix over SexyBack because I like Suit & Tie more. I’m usually not a fan of trap remixes and it is an acquired taste but this remix manipulates the shit out a few lines of the song.
Honourable Mention: The Way You Move by OutKast
Why this song: Anytime you describe a song or album as one that people will have sex to, The Weeknd comes to mind. I knew that I wanted a song by The Weeknd, I didn’t know where but I knew he’d end up on this list. I choose House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls not only because it is one of his longer songs but it feels like two distinct songs. When I first heard that every song on The 20/20 Experience was going to be at least seven minutes long each I thought each song would feel like two songs. Unfortunately this isn’t the case but that is more of an expectation than an obligation for how JT wants to make a song.
Why this song: These are the lyrics to the outro of Strawberry Bubblegum: If you’d be my strawberry bubblegum/Then I’d be your blueberry lollipop/Little girl won’t you be my strawberry bubblegum/Then I’d be your blueberry lollipop/And then I’d love you ‘til I’ll make you pop.
Honourable Mention: Thinking About You Ryan Hemsworth Remix by Frank Ocean
Why this song: I don’t dislike Tunnel Vision. It’s moody, atmospheric, and for me it borders on a little creepy. The song feels like a trip, so why did I switch it out? The song doesn’t fully stay into that atmosphere but doesn’t change into anything greater as well. While with the P.Y.T. Cover the mood stays consistent and the songs are both about the same thing but P.Y.T. is more swoon worthy.
Honourable Mention: Spaceship by Kanye Wes ft. GLC and Consequence
Why this song: I enjoy Spaceship Coupe. However, it feels too safe. If any song on the album would need to feel trippy it should be this song. Teleport 2 Me, Jamie deals with the similar themes, both deal with a distance in terms of love. Physical distance in terms of Teleport and the distance from real life and the feeling of love with Spaceship. At the end of the day it is personal preference and for me I’m going with the more trippy sound.
Honourable Mention: N/A
Why this song: I’m sure Groove would be great live. However, when listening to this song through headphones or speakers, give me a reason to dance instead of telling me to.
Why this song: Mirrors was the most difficult song to find a counter part for on my iPod. Not only did I need to find a song celebrating love but it also needed to sound epic enough to stand beside JT. What’s more epic than GOOD Music?
10. Blue Ocean Floor – Pyramids by Frank Ocean
Honourable Mention: Eyes Like Sky by Frank Ocean
Why this song: When I first found out 20/20 was going to be an album where the majority of the songs were going to be seven minutes or longer I thought that each song was going to be like Pyramids. That isn’t the case. I love the instrumentals to Blue Ocean Floor, it sounds like something I’d listen to while cooling down for yoga. The song itself feels like it’s empty calories and it could fit into the album Channel Orange. Here’s hoping that the second half of 20/20 will have more songs that are on the level of Pyramids. Until then let the album grow on you or go back and revisit songs both old and new like I have.
It’s Like I Have ESPN or Something – Nicole
I still can’t handle JT in this situation. Like, I can’t even. Forget moving on to his new music – I’m still accepting Dirty Pop into my life.
I love his outfit.