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CD review: Justin Timberlake's 'The 20/20 Experience'

Published March 27, 2013 10:15 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

So, Justin Timberlake's long-awaited single "Suit & Tie" didn't float your boat? That's OK. His second single "Mirrors" is destined to rule your ears for the rest of 2013 — and it is one of few immediately accessible tunes on Timberlake's first album since 2006, "The 20/20 Experience." That track is a stand-out on a consistently engaging neo-soul album that is a celebration of marital bliss. While the former 'N Syncer's previous album "FutureSex/LoveSounds was about as subtle as an assault weapon in a knife fight, his new songs reward the patient listener with slower-tempo grooves that are slinky in their expert craftsmanship and are sexier than "SexyBack" ever aspired to be. Some songs outstay their welcome with running times that pass seven minutes (seven of the 10 do so), but, then again, the 31-year-old is not trying to apply the Mickey Mouse Club-treatment to make these easily digestible. "Suit & Tie" is not meant to be a hit radio song, and its pleasures can't be fully enjoyed in a 30-second beer commercial. This is Timberlake at the top of his game, with a refreshing experimental bent that surpasses the reach and fruit of any other "pop" singer out there, with the exception of Bruno Mars. This album is another reason to be jealous of Timberlake.

Grade: B+