On “Suit & Tie” –the first single from The 20/20 Experience— Justin Timberlake created a retro Bee Gees groove with a modern hip-hop twist, before returning to the percussive Timbaland beats of FutureSex/LoveSounds for the album’s following singles, “Mirrors” and “Tunnel Vision.” It looks like he’s following the same formula for part 2 of The 20/20 Experience: He already led the album with the funky Off The Wall throwback, “Take Back The Night,” and has now followed it up with another one of his typical Timbaland jams, “TKO.”
“TKO” couldn’t possibly sound any more like a Justin Timberlake record if it tried. On top of the trademark Timbaland production, the entire melody recalls “Chop Me Up,” while the beatboxing outro dates back to the days of Justified.
The tone of “TKO” is much darker than the first instalment of The 20/20 Experience, but it’s more or less the same kind of thing we all heard on part 1 — right down to the seven minute running time. That makes it another love it or hate it record from JT, whose musical partnership with Timbaland seems to polarize pop fans more than even Miley Cyrus currently is.
I like it, but then again, I like virtually everything that this man does (besides the odd song here and there). Now all we can do is hope and pray that JT films a cliched boxing-themed music video for “TKO” in which he appears shirtless, bruised, and bloody.