Gimme What I Don't Know (I Want)

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"Gimme What I Don't Know (I Want)"
Song by Justin Timberlake from the album The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2
Genre Electro-funk
Length 5:15
Label RCA
  • Timbaland
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon
The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 track listing
"Gimme What I Don't Know (I Want)"
"True Blood"

"Gimme What I Don't Know (I Want)" is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake for his fourth studio album, The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 (2013). It was written and produced by Timberlake, Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley and Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon, with additional writing from James Fauntleroy.

Writing and production[edit]

"Gimme What I Don't Know (I Want)" was written by Timberlake, Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley, Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon and James Fauntleroy.[1] The song was produced by Timbaland, Timberlake and Harmon.[1] Timberlake arranged and produced his vocals, which were recorded at Larabee Studios in North Hollywood, California.[1] Harmon provided keyboards for the song, while Elliot Ives played the guitar.[1] The track was engineered by Chris Godbey, with assistance from Alejandro Baima,[1] and mixed by Jimmy Douglass, Godbey and Timberlake at Larabee Studios.[1]

Composition and lyrical interpretation[edit]

A 30-second sample of the chorus to "Gimme What I Don't Know (I Want)", which features Timberlake singing over handclaps, blips, beeps and animal sounds.[2]

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Gimme What I Don't Know (I Want)" is an electro-funk song with an approximate length of five minutes and fifteen seconds.[3] Time magazine writer Chris Bosman cited the song as being an "extra-smooth" combination of the funk, pop and R&B genres that shifts "unexpectedly from memorable moment to memorable moment".[4] Amy Sciarretto of PopCrush cited "Gimme What I Don't Know (I Want)" as a "strangely compelling" pop song, and noted similarities between the song and the "sonic ethos" of Timberlake's second studio album, FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006).[2] 411mania's Jeremy Thomas described the song as a "clear club hit" that oozes sensuality,[5] while Paste Magazine's Holly Gleason cited it as an "epic dance track".[6] Bosman declared "Gimme What I Don't Know (I Want)" to be a "classic Timberlake" song, and opinioned that it is a "watered down" version of "Don't Hold the Wall”, the third track on Timberlake's third studio album, The 20/20 Experience (2013).[4]

"Gimme What I Don't Know (I Want)" opens with Timberlake singing a cappella about animalistic carnal desire,[5] which Drowned in Sound writer Dave Hanratty noted to be a "note-perfect transition" from "Blue Ocean Floor", the closing track on The 20/20 Experience.[7] The song then progresses into a more "nightclub-friendly environs" that fuses typical hip hop beats[8] with a "syncopated backbone" of acidic funk and a guitar groove that Bosman found to be reminiscent of a stripped-down version of Daft Punk’s 2013 single “Get Lucky".[4] Timberlake's vocals are supported by handclaps, blips, beeps and animal sounds.[2]

Lyrically, Timberlake urges his lover "to get closer to your animal inside".[9] Thomas wrote that the song's lyrics are not subtle and noted that Timberlake has "never been about subtlety".[5]

Critical response[edit]

Andrew Barker of Variety magazine wrote that "Gimme What I Don't Know (I Want)" opens the album effectively while being its "most winningly silly sexual imagery".[10] On the other side, In a review of The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2, Mesfin Fekadu of The Huffington Post stated that the album starts on the wrong note by using "Gimme What I Don't Know (I Want)" as its opener.[11] Idolator's Carl Williott wrote that the song is a "clunky jungle-as-sex metaphor" that should have been erased when Bruno Mars's 2013 single "Gorilla" was released.[12] Opposite, Melinda Newman of HitFix gave the song a grade A while describing it as a "sultry, sexy funky number" that introduces what is yet to come on the album.[13]

Chris Bosman of Time magazine cited “Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want)” as one of the album's best tracks.[4] He, however, was critical of the song's extended outro, calling it an "awkward spoken word moment" that "slams the song’s already obvious metaphor of the bedroom as jungle into the beaten ground."[4] David Meller of MusicOMH wrote that "there’s nothing particularly striking" about the song, but that it's "competent enough".[8]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2.[1]

  • Vocals recorded and mixed at Larrabee Studios, North Hollywood, California
  • Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley – producer, songwriter
  • Justin Timberlake – Mixer, producer, songwriter, vocal producer, vocal arranger
  • Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon – keyboards, producer, songwriter
  • James Fauntleroy – songwriter
  • Chris Godbey – engineer, mixer
  • Jimmy Douglass – mixer
  • Alejandro Baima – assistant engineer
  • Elliot Ives – guitar


Chart (2013) Peak
South Korea (Gaon Chart)[14] 69


  1. ^ a b c d e f g The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 (booklet). Justin Timberlake. New York City, NY: RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Sciarretto, Amy (October 1, 2013). "Justin Timberlake, 'The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2' – Album Review". PopCrush. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  3. ^ Jody Rosen. "Music Review: Timberlake's 20/20 Experience Pt 2 -- Vulture". Vulture. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Review: Justin Timberlake's 'The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2' -". Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c "411MANIA - Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2 Review". Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2 Review. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2". Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  7. ^ Dave Hanratty. "Album Review: Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2". DrownedInSound. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience (2 of 2)". musicOMH. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  9. ^ Kaufman, Gil (September 30, 2013). "Justin Timberlake's 20/20 Experience - 2 Of 2: The Reviews Are In!". MTV News. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  10. ^ Barker, Andrew (October 1, 2013). "Album Review: Justin Timberlake, 'The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2′". Variety. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  11. ^ Fekadu, Mesfin (September 30, 2013). "Justin Timberlake's 'The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2' Album Is Full Of Leftovers (Review)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  12. ^ Williott, Carl (September 30, 2013). "Justin Timberlake's 'The 20/20 Experience – 2 Of 2′: Album Review". Idolator. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  13. ^ Newman, Melinda (September 30, 2013). "Justin Timberlake's 'The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2': Track-by-track review". HitFix. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Gaon Digital Chart". Gaon Chart. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 

External links[edit]