a pocketful of soul

Posted by on Thursday, March 21, 2013

Zach and I went to Kansas City and Des Moines for the first half of spring break. Our good friends Jeff and Amy (of Wires and Waves infamy) live in Des Moines, and it's only three hours past Kansas City, so we decided to make the trip up. Growing up in California, you don't learn much about other states. Or maybe I missed that part in school. I never even gave a second thought to Iowa, but it is actually a really cool place. Jack Kerouac even said, "The prettiest girls in the world live in Des Moines," and he knows everything.

I digress. Our breaks started grinding when we pulled into Des Moines, so we had to drop a boatload (I really wanted to say "buttload") of money to fix them. We are hoping we can drive this car into outer space when scientists figure out immortality and flying cars, so we want to take good care of it. Needless to say, we were a little blue. Maybe "red" is a more accurate word. To soothe our anger, we went to the Target up the road from the auto body shop and bought The 20/20 Experience. We listened to it one time through while iTunes was streaming it, and we have obviously over-listened "Suit and Tie" and "Mirrors," but we were still excited. 

The album begins with "Pusher Love Girl," where JT compares his girl's love to a high from a multitude of drugs. (Let's be real, though, JT: you would probably die if you did all those drugs at the same time. Don't die.) I really love it. It reminds me a lot of Raphael Saadiq, my only real familiarity with r&b and soul. He's also very reminiscent of Saadiq on "That Girl," which might be my favorite song on the album with the exception of "Mirrors." 

"Mirrors" is the strongest tie to his boy band breeding ground, but I say that with the utmost admiration. This song is beautiful. 

Most people seem to love the album, but critics have complained about the retro sound on "Suit and Tie." They have said that Bruno Mars is already doing the whole retro thing, which I kind of disagree with. I think it's just because they both wear gel and have good voices. This album is strong. He really put work into this, and it shows. It doesn't sound like a regular pop album. The lyrics err on the side of cheesiness at times, but it never feels cheap. As Pitchfork said, it's not like he's Frank Ocean. (Pitchfork and I actually agree on something for once!)

"Let the Groove Get In" sounds a lot like Gloria Estefan, which is pretty funny. Does anyone else remember Music of the Heart? The album ends with "Blue Ocean Floor," which actually reminds me of Frank Ocean a little bit, at least musically (not necessarily lyrically). 

I don't really dislike any of the songs on the album. I recommend all of them. It's good soul pop that exceeded all of my expectations. This album proves that he isn't just a pop star anymore. He's a real musician with staying power. 

Also, JT released this video for "Mirrors,"and I love it. 


  1. I really enjoyed this album. Pusher Love Girl is totes my fav. I totally thought it was reminiscent of Saadiq too!! But it makes sense because they both have R&B backgrounds and the throwback/vintage/soul sound really coming back in to music right now. Which is something I'm really happy about. I love JT.

  2. PS I have been waiting for your review on this album with great anticipation since it came out. Thanks for posting it :)

  3. I LOVE the song, "That girl" I think Ive heard Suit and Tie too much. It a good song though! That stinks about your brakes though. I know the feeling!


Powered by Blogger.