It’s been over six years since the release of his 2006 sophomore album FutureSex/LoveSounds. Since then, Justin Timberlake has focused on his acting career and personal life, marrying Jessica Biel in October of last year. Today, the 32-year-old entertainer fulfills his return to music with the release of his third studio album, The 20/20 Experience.

Teaming up yet again with his longtime collaborator Timbaland, The 20/20 Experience is a collection of ten sophisticated recordings lead by the work of a seasoned production artist and the transcendent singing of Justin Timberlake. From a majestic start to an emotional finish, between prominent hooks, beat breakdowns, refreshing instrumentation, and smooth transitions, The 20/20 Experience is an expertly written and produced body of work.

The album opens gracefully with the instrumentally slick “Pusher Love Girl,” and while melodically patient, Justin makes his presence known with a fashionably late introduction, bringing the old-school textures element and setting the tone for the rest of the album. Signature Timbaland comes to play on extended tracks such as “Don’t Hold The Wall” and “Tunnel Vision,” where he ups the tempo, and scatters his signature beatboxing. Both have single potential.

BUY Justin Timberlake’s new album The 20/20 Experience on iTunes NOW!

On “Strawberry Bubblegum,” a big favorite of mine, Justin turns up the sexy. It’s a gorgeously textured number featuring hints of sparkling electronica, ambient dream-pop, and smooth ’90s R&B flow – this is the song you make love to. “That Girl,” introduces The Tennessee Kids and supplies the sounds of a full-fledged jazz ensemble that bring back memories of Justified‘s “Senorita.”

Let the Groove Get In” shifts gears as the most uptempo moment on the whole album. Latin-flavor is thrown into the mix and it quickly becomes a totally legit fiesta. Then comes “Mirrors,” the official second single and undeniable standout of the record. The chorus alone is pop perfection that takes notes from the best songs off FutureSex/LoveSounds. As the album draws to a close, Justin takes a break from the climactic energy and brings 20/20 to an unexpected place with the haunting but powerful finale, “Blue Ocean Floor.” Its Justin like you’ve never heard him before. Absolutely stunning!

The 20/20 Experience may not be hailed as groundbreaking as FutureSex/LoveSounds, but without a doubt, the record shines as a solid body of work. In many ways, the album is not so much an evolution in sound but a perfected progression of FutureSex/LoveSounds. Its lengthy so it requires patience and repeated listening. Together it all makes and it should be celebrated that way. No obvious singles isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I rather have a solid body of work rather than just a few hit singles. The 20/20 Experience is the best sounding album you’ll probably hear all year. JT isn’t going anywhere just yet. 4.5/5

FYI: Justin has confirmed that the second half of his album will be released later this year, saying, “I gotta clear a rumor up. This whole thing about this being the first half of the album is TRUE. There is another half.”

BUY Justin Timberlake’s new album The 20/20 Experience on iTunes NOW!