The 20/20 Experience -- 2 of 2

Music review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
The 20/20 Experience -- 2 of 2 Music Poster Image
Second part of JT's comeback is boring, stale, and crude.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

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 & Representations

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."

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13-year-old Written byJWilliams303 December 1, 2013

Not as great as the first part but still very good

I loved JT's first part of the 20/20 experience and when I heard that he was making a second part to the album, I was very excited. This was the year for J... Continue reading
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... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byAngelaa199 October 5, 2014

Amazing Album!!!! Best album released in 2013

Ok so im a huge JT fan and i love him. This album was amazing and probably one of the best he's ever put out. Yes there is some language and some inappropr... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old July 20, 2014
Please don't buy the unedited version. Jay-Z is in Suit and Tie. Just so vulgar.

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?

Music details

  • Artist: Justin Timberlake
  • Release date: September 27, 2013
  • Type: Album
  • Label: RCA
  • Genre: R&B/Pop
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

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

See how we rate

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

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate