Released on February 2nd, Justin Timberlake’s new album, ‘Man of the Woods’ hit record breaking sales at 293,000 albums sold, and 55 million streams. Five years after his last release, ‘Man of the Woods’ was a change of pace for Timberlake.
With a typical boy band, blues-esque persona, Timberlake had a new feel to his writing and overall style with each song.
With new additions in his music with Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and Chad Hugo, the collaborations brought a new definition of edgy, and creative
With dedications to his son and wife — innovative is putting his work lightly.
It shows a Timberlake we haven’t experienced.
“Mama just can’t get enough of you My little young man, yeah, you know your daddy’s so proud of you” a lyric from one of Timberlake’s father to son song’s ‘Young Man.’
The album is wide spread. Not one song is like the other.
Man of the Woods features collaborations with Alicia Keys, Chris Stapleton, or funky, and folk interludes with songs like Flannel to electronic hits like Filthy — the album is truly eclectic.
Timberlake’s lyrics lead from heartfelt and meaningful, sexual examples of foreplay in some, to flying back to his home in Montana, “Just to show up and hear your sounds (The multiple times!)”
Though they weren’t hard hitting, soul wrenching melodies, as a listener I still found a connection by how he produced and wrote his music and the layers of sounds.
A variety of vocals, differentiating between funk to soul, varieties of guitar, to soft drums, and drum pads, it was a blend that worked.
Timberlake’s Man of the Woods held variety high with an essence of americana, and a remake of Michael Jackson singles slammed together with a spice of funk, versus the bleached blonde we remembered from NSYNC, or the Madonna inspired album that was the two part ‘20/20 experience’ in his last album.
Compared to his previous work, there was more guitar. A lot more guitar. An overall ‘fun’ tune with each song. Songs like ‘Sauce’ give a heavy funk guitar, and beat that holds a faint reminder of Prince.
You can tell, he enjoyed every song he wrote.
This album is hard to compare to others. It is a melting pot of different genres. R&B, blues, funk, folk, acoustic pop, straight pop, though in other interviews he mentioned it wasn’t as’ widespread as he hoped,’ but it was far from a let down and still held the album as one of its own.
Rolling Stone could even compare his folk renditions with a sound like Fleet Foxes, which I can see and definitely agree with.
Some have similar melodies to previous songs, but you still find yourself nodding to the beat, and mouthing the words. Not necessarily a guilty pleasure, but you can’t help but love it. He shows Bruno Mars ‘Uptown Funk’ to the same level of get up and dance kind of beat.
The album is simply that – catchy, and enjoyable. Like his recent single ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ it makes you happy. It makes you nostalgic to older pop that is no longer made, but happy that this newer generation can still create a song that isn’t dated, or lacking. Timberlake put his heart into the album, it shows.
It truly defines who Timberlake currently is: a bold, hip, family man, with a need for the wilderness.