A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience -- 2 of 2 is a disappointing exercise in pop-music mediocrity and a prime example of how success and celebrity can spoil an entertainer's charm. JT returns to the seductive dance-floor formula that he has built his career on, but it falls oddly flat and feels contrived. Parents also should be wary of the mature sexual themes, violent imagery, drug and alcohol references, and several instances of explicit language ("f--k," "s--t," "p---y") on the unedited version of the album.
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What's the story?
THE 20/20 EXPERIENCE -- 2 of 2 is the second installment of Justin Timberlake's comeback album, his first studio records since 2006's FutureSex/LoveSounds. The album features songs that were left over from the sessions recorded for the first part of The 20/20 Experience as well as some new material. Most of the production and writing is credited to Timberlake and longtime collaborators Timbaland and J-Roc, although several other people were involved with the project including guests Jay-Z and Drake.
Is it any good?
JT die-hards may be able to tolerate this messy and repetitive assortment of pop songs, but anyone else will be instantly turned off by the infantile lyrics, one-note production, and shameless commercial instincts of the once-prodigious singer. It's hard to see why Timberlake thought he needed to release so much material in 2013; he simply doesn't seem to have enough ideas to stretch out over a double album. Every single track is unendurably long, with all but one clocking in at over five minutes. Timberlake may have figured out the secret formula to pop success, but he seems to have lost his touch by relying too heavily on tired metaphors and weak hooks.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can discuss the conventions of Top 40 pop music. What makes a song sell these days?
How have artists like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake managed to endure and sustain huge careers in a mainstream market constantly searching for the next new thing?
Why do you think Timberlake decided to release two albums in 2013 after more than six years of not releasing an album?