3.5 • 0
Firstly to the singles, 'Suit & Tie' is lackluster; Jay offers nothing. There is a dearth of effort in some of his features and he doesn't 'rap' enough anymore instead just saying some rhymes that anyone with a voice could. Even without Jay though, I don't think that the song has anything going for it and he certainly doesn't ruin it. I've said this before in reviews as well, but despite being a hip hop fan first and foremost, often a quick 16 on an R&B or pop record is unmemorable. 'Mirrors' is better, and the best song here, but it is very much a 'Cry Me a River' clone. Elsewhere, one of the other stronger cuts, 'Tunnel Vision', really sounds like something that could have been on 'FutureSex/LoveSounds' as do a couple songs here. Others like 'That Girl' are more ol' school/throwback neo-soul influenced. On JT, I'm sure he thinks that he creates music better than it actually is. He goes for these epic eight minute songs, but they are too long and they don't change up as much as they do on 'FutureSex/LoveSounds' that worked better. Reviewer Jon Caramanica summed it up well - "seven-minute songs that masquerade as artistry". 'Mirrors' is the perfect example. 5:24 is where it should end and all it needs to be. (I find 'FutureSex/LoveSounds' to have a similar problem where the interludes connected to the end of songs are better than what comes before). 10 songs looks good and concise, but the length of the songs ruin the fluency. 'Strawberry Bubblegum' is the worst offender in this case, and probably the worst song here as well, with 'Let the Groove Get In' suffering the same fate. All in all if you love JT you'll enjoy this. I've never been much of a fan. I don't think that his voice offers much compared to the best in R&B/Pop. While I don't think he is a poor vocalist, there is something about it that I don't rate. He seems to stay within the same range for too long and it sounds a bit more forced/unnatural than it should. Almost like it's all falsetto. Elsewhere, as touched on already, some songs are too long, lacking buildup and get boring or are lyrically corny. Timbaland does a fine job with the production, but he isn't the inventive producer he once was. I don't feel like I haven't heard a lot of this before, and some of his ad-libbing can get tiresome. It would've been much better as a 50-55 minute album as opposed to a 70 minute one. Best Tracks: Don't Hold the Wall, Tunnel Vision, Mirrors
Reason for report