Justin Timberlake, AKA Mr. Sexy Back, has made a return to the music scene after a five-year gap since his 2013 two-part album “The 20/20 Experience” with the release of his fifth studio album “Man of the Woods” last Friday. Timberlake starts off his new album with tracks like “Filthy” and “Midnight Summer Jam” giving listeners the perfect taste of what is going to be new, and even a little taste of the old JT that many people have grown to love.
The bass lines in the opening tracks make a listener uncontrollably tap their toes and move their hips in a way that only Justin Timberlake could make you do. It’s on the title track “Man of the Woods” where Timberlake begins to abandon some of his more sexual lyrics for something a little more heartfelt, singing “How do I ever explain what I’ve got with you? I try to find the words but they hide and that’s the truth.” This is just an early sampling of a new side to Timberlake, a side that explodes on the ninth track of the album “Say Something” (featuring Chris Stapleton).
Timberlake’s and Stapleton’s vocals complement each other so well, someone might think that Timberlake could have a future in a less pop-oriented career. “Say Something” leads off what is almost a complete change in the mood of the album and is followed up by a track titled “Hers (Interlude)” which features a minute of Timberlake’s wife, Jessica Biel, talking about what it is like to wear one of her husbands shirts. Timberlake then wraps up the album with his final two tracks “The Hard Stuff” and “Young Man.” “The Hard Stuff” is a mellow jam that really gets to what Timberlake wants in a relationship when he sings, “So give me the hard stuff, the kind that makes you real. I’ll be there when the storm comes ‘cause I want the hard stuff,” and then in “Young Man,” Timberlake sings an upbeat anthem to his young son telling him that he needs to stand for something one day.
Timberlake has done it again; he’s brought us the super sexy music that one would think of when they hear the name Justin Timberlake, but he has also dropped down his walls and showed the world a side that begs one question: What will we get next from Justin Timberlake?
This article first appeared in the Friday, February 9, 2018, Edition of The Echo.