On Saturday night, Justin Timberlake gave his first full performance in three years at Mark Cuban’s Super Bowl pre-party. There, he debuted two new tracks from his upcoming album The 20/20 Experience. I’ve always been a big fan of Timberlake’s solo work. He transcends pop music, making it more exciting and innovative than just consumable, so I’m having real deep post-Green Album Disappointment Stress about this new record. I think “Suit & Tie” is great, albeit, I think I’d rather have heard it first when the weather was warmer. I’m not so sure about these songs. “Little Pusher Love Girl” would sound a lot better if Timeberlake’s use of the Your Love Is A Drug trope wasn’t so clunky. He mixes too many euphemisms in the lyrics and it sounds more ridiculous than romantic. It’s clear from this small offering that 20/20 is going to be a lot more about traditional soul sounds than the boundary-pushing, future tunes Timberlake and Timbaland have previously made. In a perfect world, Timbaland is replaced by The-Dream and he and Timberlake make an album that sounds like 15 R&B “Spa Day“s but with this showing, it’s clear Timberlake is going back to his roots. Thankfully, not these, though. Watch him perform these two new songs and “Suit & Tie” with Jay-Z below.
The 20/20 Experience is out 3/19 on RCA Records.
[Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]