It’s a classic case of fans versus critics.
On Thursday, Billboard reported that Justin Timberlake’s third studio album The 20/20 Experience is on track to break the 800,000 marks in sales in its first week. If it does, it will become the singer’s second No. 1 release and his best-selling album debut to date.
The album arrived March 15, and counting for week one ends Sunday, March 24.
JT’s previously largest debut week came via his 2006 release FutureSex/LoveSounds, which pulled in 684,000 copies during its first seven days.
Still, those numbers haven’t come without the album’s fair share of scathing reviews from top critics.
Jon Caramanica, a critic and regular guest on the New York Times Music Popcast, more or less summed the LP up as: Why… Just, why?
“…while it was Mr. Timberlake’s success in music that allowed him the chance to succeed in film, or TV, or fashion, or baking (who knows?), now the opposite is true: His sustained fame as a polymathic celebrity means there’s still an appetite for his music, even if he’s out of step with most current trends.”
Then there was Tom Moon of NPR, who was a little less subtle with his opinions.
"Suit and Tie" is the allegedly danceable first single. Perhaps you've heard it? Timberlake has, after all, been carpet-bombing late-night TV to generate excitement for the album launch. He's wise to work overtime on the sell, because there's so little song there: This little bitty two-note excuse for a melody sounds like something a preschooler might sing while playing with sock puppets at the kitchen table.”
Meanwhile, Justin is crying… all the way to the bank.