If you’ve kept up with Justin Timberlake over the years, you’ll have noticed his progression as an artist. From Justified to bringing sexy back with FutureSex LoveSounds, to giving us a 20/20 Experience like no other, Justin decides to do things differently with this album…and instead shows us why he’s a “Man of the Woods.”
Jordan’s Intro Note:
“Justin Timberlake is a goat. Last Friday the Prince of Pop released another album titled “Man Of The Woods”, and I just wanna say holy shit! He’s so talented and using producers like N.E.R.D. (Pharrell, Chad Hugo, and Shae Haley) and Timbaland, we should’ve all known that Justin was coming strong since his last two albums (20/20 Experience 1&2). The Tennessee native named the album Man of The Woods after his son Silas, which actually means MAN OF THE WOODS! Mind blowing, right? Hence the name of the album, and also kinda makes you wonder with his last name. Timber. Lake.”
Talk about some crazy good insight into the origin/process behind this album and what you can expect, right? Hope you’re ready, cause we’re about to dissect (and give our honest opinions about) this album. So join my fellow writer Jordan Platt and I, as we divulge into this very interesting piece of work that’s sure to stand apart from anything else JT has ever done.
After coming off the very successful 20/20 Experience, it’s hard for us to not want more of what came before. “Filthy” is a very suitable intro that has electronic inspired background wobbles that almost flirt with the boundaries of Dubstep itself. The lyrics will seduce your ears and also your lover. “Midnight Summer Jam” more or less echoes that of the 20/20 Experience, which Jordan and I both highly appreciated. “Y’all can’t do better than this, act like the south ain’t the shit.” Those lyrics instantly hooked me to that track.
“But this album is fire though! “Filthy” being the first single on the album is stupendous! With a new age Funk and some classic JT runs, it’s for sure gonna get you grooving!”
“Sauce” I wasn’t feeling at all, to be honest. It had that All-American vibe to it, but it just sounded very sub-par to what I’m used to hearing from JT. The title track “Man of the Woods” also disappoints with its overly simple. The lyrics somewhat pick up the slack for the production side of it, but overall it could’ve been better to me. “Higher Higher” has that blues vibe, which can be hit or miss with some. I actually appreciated it and grew to like it after a few replays. “Wave” is a very bouncy/chill, yet uplifting track that’s sure to help change the pace of the album just a little bit.
“With Supplies, he touches upon the trap side of sounds and forces you to turn up and throw them trap arms with a dope chorus!”
However, “Supplies” sounds like a half-inspired R&B song that has some almost absurd-sounding lyrics. “We’ll be living in The Walking Dead” comes to mind after hearing it mentioned in this track. Alicia Keys lends her beautiful voice talent to “Morning Light”, for a more soulful touch. For those who love Timberlake’s soulful side, this one’s for you.
“Say Something” absolutely wins the entire album for me hands down. It’s beautifully crafted, has emotionally charged (and very relatable) lyrics, and even features the amazing talent of Chris Stapleton. “Caught up in the middle of it, caught up in the rhythm of it, Maybe I’m looking for something I can’t have. Sometimes the greatest way to say something is to say nothing at all”. All of these lyrics are some of the most relatable to any song I’ve heard from Justin Timberlake (or anyone) in years. Both Timberlake and Stapleton make the perfect duet for this track.
“Say Something is one of the softer tracks with Chris Stapleton and has some lovely acoustics, those two voices make some magic together!”
JT hangs up his Suit & Tie for some “Flannel” and the song sounds more like a heartfelt lullaby to me at best. “Montana” on the other hand is another meaningful hit that really hits all those groovy sides for some great driving music that’ll make you wanna hold your loved one close.
“Montana is a special song on this album because he proposed to his wife in Montana. This one makes you want to grab that special someone and groove with some insane melodies, it has a REZZ type feel to it with that signature Justin sound!”
“Breeze Off the Pond” is another good song for the common man. “Livin’ Off the Land” is a dedication to every hard-working man out there who’s faced debt, financial troubles, and just trying to make it work and survive in a struggling economy. “The Hard Stuff” is another slow jam that’s Justin at his core. And finally, “Young Man” is a heartfelt message from father to son.
All in all, Man Of The Woods isn’t a great album, nor is it a bad one. This may not be JT’s best work, but he’s more than proven himself enough to warrant a more heartfelt yet personal approach for an album of this caliber. Whether he decides to justify himself by bringing sexy back while dressed in a suit & tie after being a man of the woods that he is, we can’t wait to see what the prince of Pop hits us with next.