By Jared Coles
Just days before performing at his second Super Bowl Half-Time show, Justin Timberlake dropped ‘Man of The Woods,’ which is his first studio album released in 5 years.
If you’re a J.T. fan you may want to hold onto your seat because this album was a huge misstep for him. He rush-recorded and released a massive two-part album that is “a mile wide and an inch deep.” Instead of staying true to his usual sound, the album is influenced by other genres such as country, gospel, funk and soul. The Memphis native was trying to go back to his roots on this concept album and made it very clear in his trailer for the album that he would be experimenting with a new sound.
Due to the length of the album, most of the songs outstay their welcome and have no substance. On Timberlake’s father-to-son message “Young Man,” he gives his son general advice such as “don’t back down and don’t stay down.” Other artists have written similar songs that are laden with regret and wisdom. Even on his duet with Chris Stapleton entitled “Say Something,” the song concludes with them repeating “Sometimes the greatest way to say something/is to say nothing at all.”
Since this was a concept album, Justin’s production choices were the only good thing that happened to this album. While the sound was new, Justin stayed at home with his choice on producers. Most of the album is produced by the Neptunes, Timberland, and Danja, who have all played a part in JT’s sound. He also decided to incorporate his family into the album as well. Timberlake’s wife, Jessica Biel, sings and speaks on a handful of songs and their son adds some vocals on “Young Man” as well. Overall I was not a fan of the album and I hope that Justin reverts back to his old sound.
Listen to it yourself and let us know what you think.