This album features a lot of classic JT with a modern twist. Sexy, but not overly sexual and pop with R&B influence. The opening record, “Gimmie What I Don’t Know (I Want)” may be one of the album’s best tracks although very similar to “Don’t Hold the Wall” of part I.
The album doesn’t feature many guest artists. The only two guest rappers are Drake in “Cabaret” and Jay Z in “Murder”.
Although both acceptable additions, their verses didn’t add to or take away from the song. The record would have been just as good without them.
The album was produced in part by Timbaland, who wasn’t at all shy about making his presence known. In fact, the tune “TKO” features a 60 second long “trademark Timbaland” beat-box toward the diminuendo at the end.
Although this album had many hit records, there were still a few misses. “Drink You Away” and “Not a Bad Thing” don’t seem to fit well with the other records. But overall part I and II clearly work together for a classic yet modern JT experience.
The 20/20 Experience Part 1 was JT’s first album since ’06. It sold more than two million copies and launched a string of sold-out stadium shows, but there wasn’t nearly as much hype about part II. Perhaps releasing the album in two parts is what made the overall experience rather anti-climactic.
A final observation worth mentioning is that each song is a painfully extended version of itself. Every song ends on and entirely different beat and/or rhythm than which it began, causing listeners to wonder if they are still on the same groove or if the record skipped.
The album seems to be less about the vocals of JT and more about the gentlemanly theme and spunky Timbaland-produced beats, a minor let down for classic JT fans.