When Justin Timberlake first announced that he was working on a new album, the news spread like a wildfire. Unquestionably, J.T. has accumulated a breathtaking amount of followers ever since his earlier years in the well-known pop band ‘N Sync. He only released two albums before The 20/20 Experience was revealed to the public, the last of which — FutureSex/LoveSounds — had been released back in 2006.
It was no surprise that nearly everyone was excited or at least curious when Timberlake posted a teaser video entitled Justin Timberlake – I’m Ready. It racked up a whopping eight million views, proving that a plausible amount of people were anticipating Timberlake’s newest album.
Needless to say, The 20/20 Experience did exceptionally well when it was finally released to the general public. The lead single “Suit & Tie” reached the top five in countries all over the world and reached #3 in the US, The second single, “Mirrors,” reached #1 in the UK and #2 in the US. Without question, the album was favored by many music critics.
Just a few months later, Timberlake broadcasted the release date for The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. It was packaged together with the first part of the album and appropriately entitled The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience. Part 2’s lead single, “Take Back the Night,” was released back in July and was teased similarly to the first CD. Timberlake posted a video on YouTube that included a blurred out sign presumably having the release date for the lead single written on it, followed by a ten second snippet. The song reached #8 on the US Hot R&B chart.
The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 was released on Sept. 27, 2013. Timberlake slowly revealed the album’s track listing through short videos on Instagram.
With its release, Part 2 received a lot more mixed reviews than its predecessor. The first was praised for its diversity in sound and new-soul feel, although some argued the tracks were too similar; Part 2 was even less acclaimed, with most critics left feeling disappointed by how similar (yet “less good”) it was then the first.
However, those same critics would all agree that a few catchy pop songs did emerge from this album. Other critics were not surprised by Part 2’s lack of new material, since Timberlake’s co-producer Jerome, “J-Roc” Harmon, had previously stated that Part 2 would be outtakes not included in the first half of the compilation.
Regardless of the amount of mixed reviews, the album debuted as #1 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 350,000 copies and debuting as #2 on the UK albums chart.
One could refer to J.T.’s new music as an acquired taste; you will either love it or absolutely despise it. Either way, if sales and the general fan base that surround Justin Timberlake is anything to go by, it’s probably safe to say that anything J.T. releases will be well-received by his devoted followers.