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Timberlake returns with 5th studio album

Timberlake recently performed in the Super Bowl LII halftime show, Feb. 4.

After a long period of silence, Justin Timberlake strikes unexpectedly with his 5th studio album, Man of the Woods. Last summer his single Can’t Stop the Feeling skyrocketed to the top of the charts across all streaming platforms. Numerous awards were awarded to this smash hit.

Now Timberlake seeks to rebrand himself, by returning to his Midwest roots. The project features many southern sounds, mixed with modern ones like synthesizers and 808’s.

This project is dedicated to his son Silas. His name means “Of the Woods”. “Stop telling me I’m making a country album” Timberlake jokingly said while getting a haircut on an Instagram video.

The album is introduced by “Filthy”, the first single released before the album. The song is very different than anything that is popular right now. I’ve seen people call it dubstep, but I think that is a completely inappropriate way to describe it. The music video depicts him dressed like Steve Jobs presenting this new dancing robot in the year 2028. At first when he introduces the robot the people are confused, but by the end of the video they are clapping and enjoying it.

I believe this is parallel to the song. When I first heard it, I was confused. But after the second or third time hearing it I loved it. However, I think the song gets very repetitive towards the end, but I love the creativeness of the track.

Overall, this album is very all over the place. Sometimes that can be a good thing, but in this case it did not work. Individually the songs are pretty good, but put together they make no sense whatsoever. Unfortunately none of the songs can compare to his classics such as Cry Me a River, Mirrors, and Suit & Tie. — Logan Lewis

After “Filthy” comes “Midnight Summer’s Jam“. This song has a real fun beat and you can tell Pharrell Williams helped out on this one. This is one of the songs you can tell has some southern ingredients. The chopped up vocal samples spice up this song a lot, making it a pretty solid jam. However, I hate the intro and refrain in this song which I think holds this song back from being great.

Sauce” is a super fun song. At the beginning, you hear a sample from a viral video of a Best Buy employee explaining the difference between “the juice” and “the sauce”. This made me laugh and started off the song on a great note. It remains a very groovy tune that will get people dancing for sure.

Man of the Woods, released Feb. 2, jumps around, causing the songs to mix poorly.

Man of the Woods” is the title track but is fourth on the list. I expected so much more of this song, since it is the title song. It seems like this very corny, childish tune. I do sort of like the chorus of the song. The music video for it has a very appropriate wilderness theme, but it is very cheesy.

I found “Supplies” very interesting. This song completely switches up the vibe, going full trap. Pharrell’s presence and influence is very noticeable in the construction of the song. The music video is insane, starting out with him relaxing in a chair, staring at a bunch of televisions showing current controversial events happening in the world. Then he is in a post apocalyptic future with very abstract things happening. I do not like the bridge of this song because it interrupts the flow. However, it transitions well back into the beat.

I see “Morning Light” becoming the most popular song from this collection, because unlike the other songs, it takes little to no musical risks.  It is a very easy listen, featuring Alicia Keys‘ soft and smooth voice.

My favorite song on the album is undoubtedly “Say Something” featuring Chris Stapleton. I strongly dislike country music and I was not sure what to expect from it. The way Justin and Chris sound together is super unique. The acoustic guitar is complimented very well with the subtle textures and beats in the background. The one take music video is very impressive, especially when the Tennessee Kids, Timberlake’s band, made an appearance. This song is one that will get stuck in your head all day.

Concluding the album is the track “Young Man”. This is a song devoted to his son, Silas. He provides very good advice to him. 

I have no idea who I would recommend this album too, due to the fact that is such a mixed bag. It contains a little something for everyone.

Overall, this album is very all over the place. Sometimes that can be a good thing, but in this case it did not work. Individually the songs are pretty good, but put together they make no sense whatsoever. Unfortunately none of the songs can compare to his classics such as “Cry Me a River”, “Mirrors”, and “Suit & Tie”.

For more music reviews, read ‘Reputation’ showcases the deeper, darker side of pop genius and KB impresses with new album “Today We Rebel”

This author can be reached via twitter @logan6300 and via email: Logan Lewis.

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