Recording information: EastWest Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Jungle City Studios, New York, NY; Larrabee Studios, North Hollywood, CA.
Photographer: Tom Munro.
Just before the release of The 20/20 Experience, the Roots' ?uestlove, who opened as a DJ for Justin Timberlake's SXSW festival appearance, announced that there would be a sequel. A little more than six months later, it was released, consisting of more recordings from Timberlake's May-June 2012 sessions with friend Timbaland, Jerome Harmon, and James Fauntleroy. The construction is similar to that of the first volume. At 74 minutes and 11 (or 12) songs, it's a little longer, and much of it has that feel-over-concision, part-improv -- just spit ballin'! -- makeup. It starts more energetically, with a frivolous and robust jam for singles night at a zoo or Rainforest Caf‚. The funkier and more frantic "True Blood" increases the energy and humor, swapping out nature effects for fantasy howls. Its ideas are exhausted after three and a half minutes, but it continues for another six. Relatively concise, "Cabaret," a standout featuring Drake, revamps Timbaland's trademark stuttering drums and has some of Timberlake's more clever lines: "If sex is a contest, then you're coming first"; "'Cause I got you saying Jesus so much, it's like we're laying in a manger." Serving the same purpose of "Suit & Tie," "Take Back the Night" is another throwback to sophisticated disco-funk. The second half crawls at slow tempos, including a falsetto soul ballad, a jilted post-breakup number with an extended coda, a blaring kiss-off that shifts into air-horn-enhanced dub, and a squeaky-clean adult pop love song. The album was sold separately and bundled with part one as The 20/20 Experience: The Complete Experience. ~ Andy Kellman