Justin Timberlake has been a household name for nearly three decades now, and his success continues with the release of his new album, “Man of the Woods,” which debuted on Feb. 2.
The R&B and pop artist is certainly stealing the spotlight in America in 2018, coming back with “Man of the Woods” after a five-year stretch of no album releases, not to mention a dazzling performance at Super Bowl LII. He has been keeping busy the past few years splitting time between the film and music industries, starring in the animated comedy “Trolls” and for his pop hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” that earned him international acclaim.
“Man of the Woods” is a bit of a departure from “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”, but it’s a risk that has earned high rewards. The new album still has the classic Timberlake creativity and catchiness, but there is a wide variation of styles on “Man of the Woods” that is sure to leave any audience satisfied. Some focus heavily on the R&B tone, such as the first song “Filthy,” which has a warped electronic back beat that sets the innovative tone for the rest of the album. The following “Midnight Summer Jam” shifts, however, to a quick and funky tune that brings out Timberlake’s southern roots with acoustic string lines playing over the refrain. More different still is the love song “Flannel,” which highlights harmonies and has almost the simple rhyme and rhythm of a lullaby.
A surprising favorite on the album is the slightly out-of-place “Wave,” which has consistent acoustic off-beats that combine funk and what feels like influences of folk and hints of reggae to create a song like no other. The title song, “Man of the Woods,” is another favorite, as it slows the pace and feels comfortable and simple compared to others while remaining catchy and soulful.
Timberlake also collaborated with both Alicia Keys and Chris Stapleton on different tracks: “Morning Light” and “Say Something,” respectively.
Overall, “Man of the Woods” combines the best of classic Timberlake with personal incorporations of his Tennessee upbringing and his new role as a family man.
The album is available now for purchase or streaming. Timberlake will start a tour for “Man of the Woods” in March, including a recently-added stop in Denver for a show at the Pepsi Center in early 2019.