Listen: Justin Timberlake's TKO Single Is Catchy But Long

By Jessica Rawden 2013-09-20 13:44:33
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Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience dropped in March, selling almost a million copies in its first week. The lengthy album has spawned several successful singles, including “Suit & Tie” and “Mirrors.” The 20/20 Experience also happened to be the first album the singer put out since 2006’s FutureSex/ LoveSounds. Now that Timberlake is back in the music business, he’s showing no signs of stopping. Late Thursday, the singer released the audio for his latest song, “TKO.”

Timberlake also shows no signs of putting together shorter, catchier tracks. “TKO” is more than seven minutes long, and it features a hip-hop intro before transitioning into Timberlake’s smooth voice. As the title implies, the song features a bunch of metaphors comparing boxing to relationships. It’s about a girl who “knocks out” Timberlake by breaking his heart. The 32-year-old also mentions whistles blowing, re-matches, fights and getting knocked out for the count.

We’ve known more music was coming from Timberlake for a while. The man’s been busy teasing the song via Twitter, and The Roots’ Questlove confirmed rumors that a second album would be coming this fall before Timberlake’s camp even did. The new album, Timberlake’s fourth solo studio endeavor, will be called The 20/20 Experience Part 2 of 2. We’ve already gotten one new single off of that album called “Take Back the Night.”

I’m quite a bit more partial to “TKO” than “Take Back the Night,” which is more disco-friendly, just like I was more partial to “Mirrors” than “Suit & Tie.” Part of the problem with putting out two albums within a year is that an artist might have produced a ton of material, but that material is not always consistently exciting. In Timberlake's case, some of the new music also takes a little patience and desire to explore fully, which is not what audiences typically expect from pop music. Timberlake’s certainly trying a lot of new things with his 20/20 Experience albums, and I have to give him kudos for stepping outside of the box, but I can’t say I love everything he’s been trying over the past several months--although I do enjoy a lot of it.

When all is said and done, the man has had a prolific music year, and it seems like we’ll be seeing his name in the headlines for months and months to come.

You can order the new single or Timberlake’s more recent album over at iTunes.
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