"Mirrors"

Last year Frank Ocean released a 10-minute song about a stripper. So why shouldn't Justin Timberlake be allowed to get his prog on with an eight-minute song about a girl who's just like his mirror? Produced by Timbaland, this non-single from The 20/20 Experience is certainly the artiest song Timberlake's ever wrapped his pipes around – from the emo power-ballad guitar strobes to the stark hand-clapping bridge to the orchestral flares to the electro blips, chipmunk synth chirps and vocoder-squawk backing vocals that ornament the climactic last minute or so. Yet it's still unmistakably a JT joint, replete with laidback soulfulness, mountain-climbing croon and falsetto butter – like how Kraftwerk might do Al Green, if they'd just spent a night in an Atlanta strip club.

From The Archives Issue 1178: March 14, 2013