Justin Timberlake indulged his meandering musings — mostly on true love — on “The 20/20 Experience” and now he’s ready to have some fun on this sequel, “The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2.” (The first installment has been retroactively appended “1 of 2.”)
Although he still goes on a bit long in places, with help from producer buddies like Timbaland, Timberlake — channeling his usual suspects from Michael Jackson to Prince — nails a more cohesive vibe on this follow-up.
From the sultry, falsetto seduction of “You Got It On” to the buoyant, horn-flecked party jam “Take Back the Night,” Timberlake sounds more focused. And on both the ecstatic, fidgety ode to the killer charms of a fierce femme fatale “Murder,” featuring Timberlake’s tourmate Jay Z, and the sexed-up jam “Cabaret” featuring Drake, Timberlake is appealingly light on his feet. (Although he does secure a place in the “Really?” lyrical annals with the “Cabaret” declaration, “I got you saying Jesus so much it’s like we’re laying in the manger.”)
Even “Drink You Away,” a beguiling mix of acoustic guitar, hand claps, stacked harmonies, and wheedling organ, manages to inject some funk into the heartbreak. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Drink You Away”
Justin Timberlake plays the TD Garden Nov. 4.