Y’know what they say about buses — you wait forever for one, and then two turn up at once. So it has proven with Justin Timberlake albums, with the key difference that the albums that have arrived this year aren’t so much buses as a couple of those gigantic stretch limos from Aphex Twin’s “Windowlicker” video. Both volumes of his The 20/20 Experience are contenders for the most overlong and overblown albums of the year, which is a shame, because their predecessor — 2006’s Futuresex/Lovesounds — was a well-crafted, lean pop delight. Still, for all that it’s kinda self-indulgent, the Timberlake double-act still has a ways to go to rival some of the truly overblown and self-indulgent records people have made over the years. Behold: the hall of shame.
Justin Timberlake — The 20/20 Experience Parts 1 and 2
Between Parts 1 and 2 of this album, there’s a total of only two songs under five minutes long. Here’s the thing: Justin Timberlake’s strength is good pop songs. Good pop songs are short and sweet. They do not stretch to five-minute outros that encompass repeating the chorus umpteen times while your backing band goes and makes a cup of tea.