Justin Timberlake’s “Man of the Woods” is a jumbled mess


Jake Brown, Sports Editor

Justin Timberlake had a great weekend. He celebrated his birthday, released a new single, released a new album and performed at the Super Bowl halftime show. Unfortunately, his new album “Man of the Woods” was very disappointing. I really enjoyed about half the songs, so let’s start with that.

“Higher Higher” was my favorite song on the album. It had the vintage Timberlake feel from his second and third album and  featured his great falsetto that is a joy to listen to.

“Midnight Summer Jam”, another song on the album, was inspired by The Bee Gees. With the falsetto harmonies and the upbeat dance song, Timberlake was looking to recreate the sound he had from “Take Back the Night” from his album “The 20/20 Experience.” It was one of those songs you can play at weddings and birthdays to get people in a good mood and start dancing.

“Montana” is one of the universally beloved songs from the album. On social media,  the responses are all about how people love the song and I don’t blame them. I honestly think it has the best songwriting, which is a weakness of this album.

“Say Something” features another one of my favorite artists, Chris Stapleton. This song was the most musical, but the songwriting was very repetitive. It does not represent Stapleton’s songwriting well, but it’s a good song to listen to.

The worst part of the album is that Timberlake tries to go into some weird country and R&B mix. Some of the songs that use this flawed style including“Flannel”, “Livin’ Off the Land” and “The Hard Stuff.” The so-called “song” before “Flannel” is Timberlake’s actress wife, Jessica Biel, talking about how she feels when she wears her husband’s shirt, which was very creepy and made me feel uncomfortable, just like the rest of the songs above.

“Morning Light” is the most disappointing song. The song features Alicia Keys, and just like Stapleton, does not feature her voice well. It tried to incorporate both reggae and R&B, and was a very strange listen.

I did not like the lead singles. Coming off of “Can’t Stop the Feeling” last year which I listened to every single day up until the release of “Filthy,” I was very surprised when Timberlake tried to take the “SexyBack” roots repeating the same line over and over again. It starts out with rock and roll style guitar and drums, then goes to the strange Timbaland beat and made me disappointed.

Timberlake also tried to capture the magic from his second album with “Supplies” which was another strange song. The songwriting is horrible and featured lines like “We’ll be living in the Walking Dead” and “I got supply-eye-eyes” which became very annoying and an earworm.

Overall, this album made me happy and sad at the same time. Timberlake spends a lot of time developing great albums, and if he thinks this is perfect, I worry a lot about what’s going to come out in the next four years.

I give this album two and a half out of five stars.