Dear Justin…

Dear Justin,

I’m not going to call you Mr. Timberlake. That would feel like I was mocking you. I don’t want to do that. Plus I kind of feel like we’re dudes of similar ilk- I mean, white, gifted dancers, married to women with brown hair. That kind of ilk. So let’s continue on a first name basis. And let’s continue with definitely acknowledging that the idea of writing to a famous person is not new. It’s not even new to me. I’m still waiting for Ryne Sandberg to respond to at least one of the letters I wrote to him when I was younger. But either way, writing a letter to a famous person will never be better than this:


Do you watch Always Sunny, Justin? I bet you do. It’s one of my favorite shows right now. And speaking of shows, man, do you watch Breaking Bad? That shit’s crazy. I’m just starting season four, so if & when you do reply, no spoilers please.

But I’m getting side tracked.

I wanted to write to you because I’m currently listening to the second 20/20 Experience. I honestly had forgotten it was coming out, but was reminded by Elyse. So I started listening to it. I even stopped listening to Lorde to listen to this album and that’s saying a lot.

Let’s just get this out of the way- I’m not really a fan and that hurts me almost as much I imagine it hurts you. It’s not like it’s terrible. It’s not. And it’s not like it’s complete ear garbage, because it’s not. It’s just…it’s just…well…it’s not what I’ve come to expect from you, sir. It’s like if I ordered a Maverick’s Burrito from Surf Taco, a burrito that to me, has a pristine reputation, but when I got it, it just wasn’t that good. It was still better than a normal burrito, but as a Maverick’s Burrito, it lacked.

Justin, your new album sounds like a sub par burrito.

I know what the problem is. And that’s why I’m writing to you. You forgot some of the best advice there is and it’s advice I’m sure you’ve heard before. I mean, you hang out with Jay Z. I picture the Jigga man spouting nothing but advice and anecdotes. But regardless, this is about quality over quantity.  You always go with quality. Always. I can’t even think of a situation where you’d even consider forgoing quality for quantity. What’s the point of having more shaky burritos when you could instead have less awesome burritos? What’s the point of being surrounded by burritos if you don’t really want to eat them?

There is no point, Justin. It’s a waste of burritos.

You fell victim, though. You went for quantity over quality. And I can’t blame you- it was your first time back in the studio in a few years and you probably got excited. But you got carried away. You essentially came out with a double album. You know when double albums are good? Live albums and best of albums. That’s it. Double studio albums are never really a good idea. Double studio albums usually just mean that buried within both albums, which can be good, is one great album. Look at some other double albums as examples. Stadium Arcadium by the Red Hot Chili Peppers; that’s a much better single album than it is a double album. Another relatively recent example is Green Day and the three albums they just released, Uno, Dos, Tres. Sure all three are decent albums. They’re good Green Day albums. But if you did some editing, you could easily come out with one great Green Day album. You want some more examples? How about Notorious B.I.G.’s Life After Death, George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, Radiohead’s In Rainbows and the Foo Fighters’ In Your Honor.

Studio albums spread out over two albums rarely ever work. And let’s be honest, The 20/20 Experience is a double album.

I guess I just wish you had edited more. I wish when the conversation about doing two albums came up, it was squashed. And speaking of wishes, I wish you had worked with at least one other producer. All Timbaland’s stuff sounds the same after awhile.

Think about how much stronger one 20/20 Experience would be? All the best songs on one album.

Quality over quantity, Justin.

A rule that will never get old. Never.

Well, that’s all I wanted to say. Don’t get me wrong- both albums are good, I just think that one would have been great. But either way, good to have you back singing and dancing. I’m not going to see Runner Runner because it looks kind of dumb, but Inside Lleywen Davis looks great. So I’ll definitely see that.

And if you don’t watch Always Sunny, you totally should.

All the best,

Ryan

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