Justin Timberlake's Personal New Album, Man of the Woods, is Coming in February

by Brad Wete

Ahead of his February 4 Super Bowl halftime performance, yesterday (Jan. 2) singer Justin Timberlake announced that he’ll release his fourth solo album, Man of the Woods, days before the extravaganza, on February 2.

On it Timberlake will take listeners on a journey through his Southern upbringing. “Man Of The Woods marks Timberlake’s most ambitious album to date, both sonically and lyrically,” his label RCA says via press release. “[It combines] the sounds of traditional American rock with the modern influences of collaborators The Neptunes, Timbaland, Chris Stapleton, and Alicia Keys.”

On Monday, he dropped a teaser clip for the album. In a nutshell, it reveals that:

  • The album is inspired by his wife, actress Jessica Biel, and son Silas.
  • “It feels like mountains, trees, campfires, like [the] wild West,” a woman says during the minute-long piece, as a rakish and bundled up Timberlake leaps through a snowy field. 
  • “It feels so earthy,” producer Pharrell Williams (half of The Neptunes) says in recording studio. “It’s just where you are in your life right now." Williams and Justin presumably just played an ultra good song from the effort. "That right there is a smash,” Pharrell continues.

For those a bit frazzled by the idea that Woods features grizzled country stud Chris Stapleton or that this set may be a 180-degree foray into a genre of music fans aren’t used to from Justin, relax. One, this is only an uber bite-sized sample of what’s to come. Secondly, Timbaland and The Neptunes both did the heavy lifting on Justin’s classic debut and sophomore efforts, which married pop music with R&B, Hip-Hop and even techno at times.  Lastly, the man is from Memphis. If the roots he’s mining are truly from the place he grew up, expect to hear much soul from the Tennessee kid.

Woods’ first single, “Filthy,” drops Friday, January 5. Its video was directed by award-winning director Mark Romanek and is “dance heavy.” Something tells me Justin won’t be hee-hawing and square dancing in it.  

Written by Brad Wete