Not going to lie; I’m not too knowledgable about Justin Timberlake’s career. All I know are his hit songs, the ones that everyone knows: ‘Cry Me A River’, ‘Sexy Back’, ‘Mirrors’. Of course I know more but I can’t even recall what they’re called. I never played a full album by him until ‘Man of the Woods’ but, to be honest, I normally wouldn’t be interested in listening to a full J.T album, not because I don’t like him, but because I don’t usually listen to his genre, even though he has a kind of R&B sound and has worked with several rappers in the past. But for the sake of trying to write reviews, I listened to the icons recent release.
First of all, it’s good that ‘Man of the Woods’ has 16 songs and runs for 1h 5m, which I think is basically the perfect length for an album. On the first song, ‘Filthy’, Timberlake starts with a bang, and sets the tone for the entire album. ‘Filthy’ is a fast paced song where J.T is asserting himself as being back and ready to show he hasn’t fallen off. He mentions that ‘haters gonna say it’s fake’ and proves it’s not fake; it’s J.T, the legend. You know what to expect: good sounding music. He follows up ‘Filthy’ with ‘Midnight Summer Jam’ another smooth sounding fast paced song. But ‘Sauce’, the third song, is a arrogant song, where J.T is letting us; listeners, fans, critics, know that he has the sauce. Sauce lasts forever. And, F.Y.I: there’s nothing wrong with being arrogant and showing off your skills that you know you’re good at. The first song I listened to from the album was the song with the same name: ‘Man of the Woods’. Like I said, I wasn’t planning on even listening to this album but after I heard that song I decided that I just might dig it. ‘Man of the Woods’ is an upbeat, positive, good vibes song and I couldn’t help jamming out to it. J.T flows across the beat so easily and sounds so crisp. If I could describe a *Pop* song as being wavy, this would definitely be considered wavy. This is a song that would put you in a good mood right away. I’m surprised that it didn’t have a star beside it on Apple Music. ‘Surprise’ the seventh song did have a star beside it, though and I could see why, too. It has a strong bass line and that gives the song a kind of hiphop feel, but J.T isn’t rapping over it. He does an excellent job of mixing his style into this type of beat. Then the beat switches and turns into something like an EDM beat, which fit very well with the song, and I’m no fan of EDM.
The first feature on ‘Man of the Woods’ is the one and only Alicia Keys. J.T and Miss Keys team up for ‘Morning Light’. This song kind of reminded me of a new age gospel song, especially with it being titled ‘Morning Light’. This song is another one that spreads noticeably good vibes throughout. It’s the type of song, where, if you like gospel music, you’d want to play it right when you wake up in the morning. I mean, it’s called ‘Morning Light’ for a reason. The next song with a feature is ‘Say Something’ with Chris Stapleton. I never heard of Chris Stapleton before, and when I googled who he was, I wasn’t surprised I’ve never heard of him before. He has a good voice and sounded good on the song, though. But I wouldn’t say I like the song; it has too much country in it.
After ‘Say Something’ I felt like the remainder of the album begins to fall into the pop / country category, compared to the first half of the album where I thought it had more R&B sounds. I didn’t really feel the album as much when J.T switched it up. The music quality still sounds well done, and thoughtful, but I wasn’t enjoying it as much. I found myself tapping my feet a lot less. And I was zoning out to the songs frequently. I think Justin Timberlake should’ve continued the R&B vibes because, these days especially, that is what most people like. Over his career, he proved he could make great sounding R&B music. But this album is called ‘Man of the Woods’ and after hearing that title, and seeing the artwork for the album, and noticing how J.T has looked recently; with his outdoorsy clothes and a beard, you’d immediately think it was a country album. So I’m glad ‘Man of the Woods’ at least had some R&B because I wasn’t expecting it.
I would rate ‘Man of the Woods’ a 7/10 or 3.5/5, but I would’ve given it an 8 if the album was over after ‘Morning Light’. I was going to say that everyone was saying they felt country vibes, but I wasn’t. But then I heard the second half and I realized. It’s not a problem, though. And it’s good to try and expand yourself when you’re talented like J.T but I don’t like country. I’d listen to all the songs up to ‘Morning Light’ again, but I don’t think I’ll play the rest. I will add a couple songs to my Apple Music. My favorites were, in no particular order: ‘Sauce’, ‘Man of the Woods’, and ‘Supplies’.