Justin Timberlake has been producing hit after hit since the late 1990’s. From his work with *NSYNC to “Can’t Stop the Feeling” in 2016, Timberlake has always been relevant. After taking a look at his new album, “Man of the Woods,” he’s going to need some other method to stay relevant in 2018.
The album begins with “Filthy,” and starts strong, with a rad guitar riff from Elliot Ives, a frequent collaborator, with Timberlake supporting the vocals, but that quickly dies down to a lazy synthetic beat that Timberlake, seemingly without rhythm, sings over.
Lyrically, the album lacks creativity. It is dedicated to Timberlake’s wife and son, Jessica Biel and Silus Timberlake. Despite this, all but two of the sixteen tracks are about Timberlake’s and Biel’s relationship, and those fourteen songs about Biel are all just your ordinary, cheap love songs.
I will give “Man of the Woods” this: the songs about Timberlake’s son are excellent. “Flannel” (which sounds like it could be a lullaby), is a relaxing and refreshing track that gives off good vibes. The concluder of the album, “Young Man,” is Timberlake’s way of listing off life advice in a musical way for his young son to listen to and learn, and it makes me wonder where this lyrical inspiration was for the rest of the album.
All around, the most exciting parts about this album are the parts that aren’t Timberlake himself. Throughout, Ives shows off an incredible talent on guitar that is unfortunately pushed into the back, but he shines brightly during his guitar and harmonica solo in “Midnight Summer Jam.” Alicia Keys appearing on “Morning Light” brings dulcet vocals to an otherwise cacophony. Lastly, Chris Stapleton nails adding the folk touch on “Say Something.”
Unless you’re really desperate for something to fill the silence, I would avoid “Man of the Woods,” as there are many more superior pop albums out there, four of which being his other works.
CHECK OUT THIS ALBUM IF YOU LIKED:
“MIND OF MINE” BY ZAYN MALIK