Pop music sensation Justin Timberlake has fascinated fans with his sound for almost 25 years. Five years since the release of The 20/20 Experience, Timberlake returns with his fourth solo album, Man of the Woods. The album release comes just days before his highly-anticipated half-time performance at Sunday’s Superbowl against the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. The artist will also be going on a massive tour to promote his new album starting in early March in Toronto, Canada up until the start of June. The tour comes to California end of April but doesn’t arrive to The Forum in Los Angeles until April 28.
In an interview with Zane Lowe, Timberlake calls Man of the Woods his most introspective record yet.
“I think every album done before that was an aspiration…paying homage to my influences” said Timberlake. “Man of the Woods is really the inspiration” he continued. Inspired by his son Silas, whose name means “of the woods” with wife Jessica Biel, the album stays true to Timberlake’s R&B/Funk grooves while being fused with sounds of roots music and string instruments.
The 16-song album features collaborations with some of music’s most elite artists including Alicia Keys on Morning Light and Chris Stapleton on Say Something; the third single released from the album. The album also features production from long-time producer and friend Timbaland, Pharrell Williams and Jorga Smith, whose vocals were featured on Drake’s most recent album, More Life. Leading up to the release of what Timberlake calls “modern Americana with 808’s,” he released a total of three singles. These included Filthy and Supplies.
“The sound for Man of the Woods came out of two years of conversations with Pharrell about sound and talking about sonic real estate that is available” said Timberlake. Rapper and producer Pharrell Williams, he goes on to say, felt this was a sound that only Timberlake could successfully access and produce, in order to represent the south in a positive light. This ode to Timberlake’s Tennessee roots is evident in the opening chorus of one of the first few songs of the album, Midnight Summer Jam where the artist repeats “Y’all can’t do better than this, act like the South isn’t shit” in the chorus of the upbeat track.
The consensus for the album? Still seems a bit early to decide. However, it is clear that Timberlake made exactly the kind of album that he wanted to at this point in his career. One that celebrates fatherhood, marriage, which is evident in the interlude Hers voiced by his wife, and revisiting his southern roots in his music. This ultimately shows Timberlake’s commitment as an artist to take risks with his sound regardless of the possibility of failure, providing his fans with something new as well as staying true to what they fell in love with about the artist from the very beginning of his career.
Man of the Woods is now available to stream on Apple music. Watch the video for the album’s second single, Supplies below.