Let the Groove Get In

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"Let the Groove Get In"
Song by Justin Timberlake
from the album The 20/20 Experience
Recorded 2012; Larrabee Studios (North Hollywood)
Length 7:12
Label RCA
  • Timbaland
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon
  • Dokha "Yafei"
The 20/20 Experience track listing
"That Girl"
"Let the Groove Get In"

"Let the Groove Get In" is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake for his third studio album, The 20/20 Experience (2013). It was written and produced by Timberlake, Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley and Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon, with additional writing from James Fauntleroy. A latin song, "Let the Groove Get In" contains sample from the recording "Alhamdulillaahi" part of the release Explore Series: Africa-Burkina Faso: Rhythms of the Grasslands (2002). Music critics received the song well and noticed a similarity between it and the works of Michael Jackson in particular his 1983 single "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'". Following the release of The 20/20 Experience, it debuted at number 31 on the South Korea International Chart and at number nine on the US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.

Background and production[edit]

Timberlake started writing and recording for his third studio album in the "late part of May, first week in June" and concluded in July 2012.[1] The project was produced in a span of 20 days.[2] In August 2012, producer Jim Beanz reported that Timberlake started work on his new music project.[3] However, at that time, shortly after the announcement, Timberlake's publicist revealed that there were no current plans for a new Timberlake album, affirming instead that Timberlake was working with Timbaland on songs for his upcoming project Shock Value III.[3] Although, originally planned for release in October 2012, the album's date was postponed because of the singer's wedding with actress Jessica Biel.[1] Timberlake's manager Johnny Wright stated that although in the project were involved artists who are also primarily and Timberlake's friends it was tough keeping the album a secret, making them use codenames for the project.[1] The album was released on March 15, 2013, under the title The 20/20 Experience.[4]

"Let the Groove Get In" was written by Timberlake, Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley, Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon and James Fauntleroy.[5] The song was produced by Timbaland, Timberlake and Harmon.[5] Timberlake arranged and produced his vocals, which were recorded at Larabee Studios in North Hollywood, California.[5] Harmon provided keyboards for the song, while Elliot Ives played the guitar.[5] The song was engineered by Chris Godbey, with assistance from Alejandro Baima.[5] The song was mixed by Jimmy Douglass, Godbey and Timberlake at Larabee Studios.[5] The Benjamin Wright Orchestra and The Regiment played the horns, while Terry Santiel provided the percussions.[5]

Composition and lyrical interpretation[edit]

"Let the Groove Get In" is a latin song accompanied by canned horns, propulsive percussion and Timberlake's harmonized voice over a pop arrangement made by Timbaland.[6][7] It contains a sample from the recording "Alhamdulillaahi" part of the release Explore Series: Africa-Burkina Faso: Rhythms of the Grasslands (2002), an album that features field recordings collected in Africa during the 1970s.[8] Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly wrote that although the song is built on African hand-drum rhythms, later transforms into a classical Michael Jackson song, similar to the tracks from his fifth studio album Off the Wall (1979).[9] People's Chuck Arnold and Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone, compared "Let the Groove Get In" to Jackson's 1983 single "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" from his sixth studio album Thriller (1982).[10][11] Kitty Empire of The Guardian called the song a sassy and salsa-driven "earworm with a chanted chorus whose arrangements are sublime".[12]

Critical response[edit]

Robert Christgau cited it as a highlight of the album.[13] Billboard's editor Jason Lipshutz listed the song among a list of 15 pop songs "that weren't released as singles but should have been."[14] VH1's Emily Exton wrote, "In addition to using a few of his more successful techniques (echoed call-and-response, general clapping) Timberlake dives into the sounds of the Miami Sound Machine, bringing back an electric dance number unlike anything else in his catalog."[15]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of The 20/20 Experience.[5]

  • 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
  • Yafei producer, songwriter
  • James Fauntleroy – songwriter
  • Chris Godbey – engineer, mixer
  • Jimmy Douglass – mixer
  • Alejandro Baima – assistant engineer
  • Elliot Ives – guitar
  • The Benjamin Wright Orchestra and The Regiment — horns
  • Terry Santiel — percussions


Following the release of The 20/20 Experience, due to strong digital downloads, "Let the Groove Get In" appeared on the charts in South Korea and the United States. For the week dated March 17, 2013, the song debuted on the South Korea Gaon International Chart at number 31 with sales of 6,204 digital copies.[16] "Let the Groove Get In" did not enter the US Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number nine on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[17]

Chart (2013) Peak
South Korea Gaon International Chart[16] 31
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[17] 9


  1. ^ a b c Aswad, Jem (March 19, 2013). "Justin Timberlake Manager Johnny Wright on Secret Plans Around '20/20 Experience,' Touring, Myspace, More". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ Halperin, Shirley. "How a Live Nation Deal Cornered Justin Timberlake". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Anderson, Kyle (August 7, 2012). "Justin Timberlake totally not working on 'crazy' new album, despite what a dude named Jim Beanz says". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Musik – The 20/20 Experience (Deluxe Version) von Justin Timberlake" (in German). iTunes Store (DE). Apple. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h The 20/20 Experience (booklet). Justin Timberlake. New York City, NY: RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. 2013. 
  6. ^ Don Chareunsy. "Déjà vu: Justin Timberlake is still a solid showman in ‘20/20’ return to MGM Grand". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 
  7. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (March 12, 2013). "Justin Timberlake, 'The 20/20 Experience': Track-By-Track Review". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 27, 2013. 
  8. ^ Farber, Jim (March 12, 2013). "Justin Timberlake's '20/20 Experience' review: This time he brings love as well as SexyBack". Daily News. Mortimer Zuckerman. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  9. ^ Maerz, Melissa (March 11, 2013). "Justin Timberlake streams 'The 20/20 Experience' on iTunes. Worth the seven-year wait? -- The EW Review". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ Arnold, Chuck (March 12, 2013). "Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience: People's Review". People. Time Inc. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  11. ^ Rosen, Jody (March 11, 2013). "The 20/20 Experience — Album reviews". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  12. ^ Kitty Empire (March 17, 2013). "Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience – review | Culture | The Observer". Guardian. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (June 4, 2013). "Odds and Ends 030". MSN Music. Archived from the original on November 26, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  14. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (April 24, 2015). "15 Recent Pop Songs That Weren't Released as Singles (But Should Have Been)". Billboard. Retrieved May 1, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Let The Groove Get In: Justin Timberlake’s 20 Greatest Songs". VH1. October 4, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  16. ^ a b "South Korea Gaon International Chart (Week, March 17 to 23, 2013)" (in Korean). Gaon Chart. Archived from the original on March 28, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "Justin Timberlake chart history — Bubbling Under Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 

External links[edit]