After nearly five years, Justin Timberlake is finally set to release his fourth solo studio album, Man of the Woods. The follow-up to 2013’s The 20/20 Experience and The 20/20 Experience — 2 of 2 comes out February 2. Here’s everything we know so far.
“Filthy” is the album’s opening track and first single
The lead single off Man of the Woods is titled “Filthy” and was released January 5. The track was accompanied by a music video directed by Mark Romanek, the same director from Timberlake’s 2016 single and Trolls theme “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” He’s even decided to one-up the Band and Martin Scorsese by insisting the single be “played very loud,” instead of just loud. The single was later confirmed to be the the LP’s opening track.
1 of 4. Friday, midnight ET. https://t.co/oydnUMzBE8 pic.twitter.com/O35kFWHVuf
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) January 3, 2018
Timberlake is leaning hard on a modern cowboy feel
The initial promotion for Man of the Woods clearly aims to create an image of an earthy, rugged Justin Timberlake, one who longs for the simplicity of life in the great outdoors. The trailer features plenty of horses, a campfire, and Timberlake clad in a fringed leather jacket. A second trailer featured Timberlake describing the album’s sound as “modern Americana with 808s.” So far, “Filthy” and “Supplies” feel a bit heavier on the latter.
“Supplies” brings us to the future, but further from the woods
The second single, “Supplies,” came with a video directed by Dave Meyers. In it, we get an opening collage of men accused of sexual misconduct, Black Lives Matter protests, and police brutality, before moving on to a post-apocalyptic scenario that pays homage to any number of recent action movies. Timberlake never comes within a mile of the woods.
The Neptunes, Timbaland, and Danja all helped with the album
Timberlake teamed up with a lot of familiar faces for Man of the Woods, and they all seem pretty excited about the final product. Timbaland told Rolling Stone back in 2017 that the music he was working on with Timberlake would “put him on another plateau.” Pharrell can be seen in the album trailer adamantly exclaiming, “That is a smash.” Alicia Keys and Chris Stapleton also contributed to the album.
Get ready for four singles before the album drops
After “Filthy” and “Supplies,” Timberlake plans on releasing two more tracks, each with an accompanying video. The second single was released January 18, with another to follow each week until the album’s February 2 release. Each video will have a different director.
Here’s the cover art
Timberlake first posted the album art, photographed by Ryan McGinley, on Twitter. Let no one say that it does not feature our hero standing in and/or around the woods.
📷 #ryanmcginleystudios https://t.co/oydnUMzBE8 pic.twitter.com/40nvpuf4Mt
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) January 2, 2018
The album arrives two days before the Super Bowl halftime show
Timberlake will perform at the Super Bowl halftime show in Minneapolis on February 4, just two days after Man of the Woods is released. His previous performance at the 2004 Super Bowl ended in the infamous “wardrobe malfunction,” wherein Timberlake ripped off part of Janet Jackson’s outfit, and Jackson somehow ended up with most of the blame. He recently told Zane Lowe that he and Jackson moved past that, however:
Timberlake says the two “absolutely” made peace with the incident. “To be honest, it wasn’t too much of a conversation,” Timberlake says of his response to the Halftime show fallout. “It’s just one of those things where you go like, ‘Yeah what do you want me to say, we’re not going to do that again.’”
Timberlake will presumably perform a song or two from his new album during the show.
The Man of the Woods tour starts in March
Timberlake will embark on his first tour in five years starting March 13 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Aside from another show in Montreal, all the dates announced so far are in the U.S.
Man of the Woods has 16 tracks
Timberlake unveiled the Man of the Woods tracklist January 5, the same day as “Filthy.” The 16 total tracks leave plenty of space for the album to finally get around to that earthy, country-esque sound we’ve heard so much about—maybe it’s reserved for songs like “Flannel,” “Livin’ off the Land,” and “Montana” (which we’ll assume is not a cover of the Frank Zappa song of the same name). Alicia Keys and Chris Stapleton will be featured on “Morning Light” and “Say Something,” respectively.