Somebody, somewhere was bound to be a massive fan of Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience. Turns out that someone was Jesse McCartney. Always happy to follow in JT's footsteps, McCartney dons a suit and tie for the cover of 2014's In Technicolor and cops a bit of the same snazzy strawberry bubblegum pop for this, his fifth album. He's stuck in a Michael Jackson timewarp filtered by Timberlake and Timbaland, but where that pair focused on elongated, never-ending grooves on The 20/20 Experience: The Complete Experience, McCartney focuses on tight little pop songs, emphasizing hooks and feel over dance. So pop is this parade that his lack of vocal chops doesn't matter much: he may be nearing his 30th birthday but he sounds perennially adolescent, singing songs of puppy love to match. Sophistication may remain just out of his grasp, but McCartney's eagerness to fill his figurative big brother's shoes is kind of endearing: he's sincere in his imitation, as he's now a decade deep into his career and has yet to tread where Justin hasn't. This may not be a surprise, but the fact that In Technicolor actually improves on the elastic, indulgent The 20/20 Experience is. McCartney whittles away all of Timberlake's excesses and winds up with a fizzy little pop-soul album that provides more fun than its initial blueprint. It may be amusing to hear him strain his falsettos while surrounded by analog synthesizers and approximations of Quincy Jones' elegance, but all this mimicry winds up being an accidental guilty pleasure.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine