Throughout his rather prolific life, Justin Timberlake has hit a lot of milestones; from NSYNC, to performing an infamous halftime show with Janet Jackson, to marrying Jessica Biel, Timberlake hasn’t missed a beat. That is, until a couple days ago. This past Thursday, Timberlake released his first album since 2013’s star-studded The 20/20 Experience, and it’s pretty disappointing.
When Timberlake first announced Man Of the Woods, he said he was “going back to his roots.” Seeing as he’s from Memphis, we all imagined JT was perhaps going to dip his feet into the folk or blues pond, but not get too wet. Instead, he plunged right in.
The album opens up with “Filthy”, a puzzling Daft Punk-inspired track that’s a little too much and makes you forget what you’re even listening to. Probably not the best introduction. Once you’re somehow able to overcome that, you’re met with a horrible opening from “Midnight Summer Jam” which almost immediately made me want to turn the whole thing off (which I did for awhile.) It eventually gets somewhat better though (perhaps laughable), as Timberlake sings “Y’all can’t do better than this, act like the south ain’t the shit” behind a kazoo? Please stop.
Also, if you’re not into the whole “ JT tries his hand at folk but at full throttle” sound it’s probably best if you skip out on “Livin’ Off the Land”, and “Flannel” as both of these songs are godly dreadful and seem out of place.
Besides all of this, the album has a (few) standouts such as “Young Man” which includes an incredibly touchy message to Timberlake’s son Silas, as well as “Higher Higher” a groovy track ringing Timberlake’s usual sound.
Overall, Man Of The Woods probably isn’t the best album of the month (or even the week for that matter.) It’s a 16-track album filled with mostly mediocre songs that make no sense whatsoever and are hard to enjoy. “Sauce” literally sounds like a cheesy theatre number that came to be only as a mere filler, compared to “Supplies” which sounds like a Pitbull feature. It’s just not good. Sorry JT, but if you’re gonna name an album Man Of the Woods you’ve got to have some songs that actually sound like being in the woods.