Tasty Tracks of 2013: Mirrors by Justin Timberlake

The first part of Justin Timberlake's double-disc project, The 20/20 Experience, was one the biggest releases in 2013. Though the album had other strong singles, its masterwork is "Mirrors." The track foreshadowed the strong return of the love power ballad. While not exactly a power ballad in the traditional sense, the song does play with that formula, hinging on a strong chorus about the strength found in enduring love.  During this chorus, Timberlake's voice--one of the great voices of our time--is layered up to give the song emotional heft and the energy needed to keep the material invigorated. However, the song complicates the ballad formula by filtering it through the singer's retro soul inclinations; thus, it features some interesting production choices like beat-box percussion, as well as a long outro that allows the singer to improvise. The radio single version of "Mirrors" trimmed out this creative diversion (which stretches the song to the 8 minute mark) but that important experiment allows it to be both a fine slice of pop and seductive mood piece.

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