Pieces from the cutting-room floor cobbled together on the cheap
Allegedly caught in a multi-million pound contract wrangle with entertainment company Live Nation, it’s hard not to think of Justin Timberlake’s recent return to pop after an extremely lengthy absence as anything more than a cash cow. Released back in March, ‘The 20/20 Experience’ boasted just about enough blockbuster hooks and gossamer Timbaland beats to survive such cynical assessment. But this surprise, extremely swift follow-on looks, from the cover to the contents, like pieces from the cutting-room floor cobbled together on the cheap. It’s a bit of a mess: ‘True Blood’ pits horror-film synths against jungle drums, while the glammy ‘Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want)’, with its leery sub-Axl Rose croons of “Take you to the jungle“, sounds like Queen on safari. This time, the cameo by Timberlake’s summer touring partner Jay Z works. ‘Murder’ finds Jigga spitting about John Lennon with a touch more energy than his slovenly ‘Suit & Tie’ verse. But with the average track length clocking in around six minutes, ‘…2 Of 2’ drags on like a hostage saga.