The 20/20 Experience -- 2 of 2 Music Poster Image

The 20/20 Experience -- 2 of 2

Second part of JT's comeback is boring, stale, and crude.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Unless you consider guest rapper Drake's crude line "Always strap up just for safety, then go long" positive encouragement for practicing safe sex, there's really not much in these shallow lyrics that offers a solid message.

Positive role models

Whereas JT used to pull off being a suave master of ceremonies, bad lyrics and raunchy imagery make him a less-than-inspiring figure on this record.


Oddly simplistic songs use violent metaphors including the lyrics in "TKO" and "Murder," the latter of which includes a creepy Jay-Z couplet: "Faces of death, she fine or what / Suicide, I'm tryna cut / white chalk line 'em up / Give new meaning to dying to f--k." 


Most of the album is aggressively seductive, often to the point of sounding predatory. JT constantly makes boastful come-ons like, "You know you killin' me softly, but we can go hard as you want to / until the bed's way under the ground." Featured guests Jay-Z and Drake are predictably vulgar, including a reference to how Yoko Ono's "p---y broke up the Beatles." 


The usually radio-friendly Timberlake indulges in a bit of profanity, including several uses of the words "s--t" and "f--k." Jay-Z also uses the word "p---y."


References Jack Daniels and Jim Beam on "Drink You Away." Jay-Z mentions "buying Rovers and rings."

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In addition to several lyrics about drinking, Drake raps, "I break it down like a kilo."

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.

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.

Families can talk 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?

Music details

Artist:Justin Timberlake
Release date:September 27, 2013
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

This review of The 20/20 Experience -- 2 of 2 was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written byHaggy October 13, 2013


What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byRosebud95 November 14, 2013

Could've been better

I feel like something's missing from a lot of the songs, except "Take Back The Night", the hidden track "Pair Of Wings", and even "Gimme What I Don't Know (I Want)" (despite the repetitiveness). "Drink You Away" is a good song, but I don't know....and "True Blood" can be broken into two parts instead of the entire song being 9:31... I guess it's just that the second part of The Experience doesn't seem 'polished' to me, unlike Justified, the first Experience, or even FutureSex/LoveSounds.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written bySodaDog October 12, 2013

Two Stars?

This is just stupid. Common sense, why did you give this two stars? This album has a different feel to it other than the first part of the album. All because you hate long songs thinking that it is "Successful pop marketing"? No way. Oh, the cussing? It isn't as bad as what you hear at school, college or whatever. One more thing, you forgot to list the "special surprise" at the end of the album which would've garnered it four stars or on a good day, five.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking