Justin Timberlake’s Big Week Disappoints
Timberlake had a huge week leading up to his Super Bowl performance on Sunday. He turned 37, released a new album, and performed the Super Bowl halftime show all in one week but, did it live up to fan’s expectations?
Still beaming off the success of the motion picture soundtrack, “Trolls” produced by Timberlake last year, which included the 2017 summer anthem, “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” fans were expecting a lot more than what they were given from his new album.
After being announced as the halftime show performer for the 52nd Super Bowl, Timberlake then announced that he would finally release a solo album after almost five years of silence. In his promotional video for the album, “Man of the Woods,” it shows Timberlake in a forest, dressed in a flannel and jeans, and says that he, “wants to bring the outside in” leaving fans to think that he was going to release a country album. Which makes sense because one of the few times he has been in he was in the spotlight since his, “20/20 Experience” album release in 2013, was when he performed, “Drink You Away,” at the Country Music Awards with musician, Chris Stapleton, who is featured on Timberlake’s newest album.
Two days before his Super Bowl performance Timberlake released his new album, “Man of the Woods.” Based on the three singles he released prior to the album, “Filthy,” “Supplies,” and “Say Something” featuring Chris Stapleton. Timberlake seemingly convinced fans that, “Man of the Woods” was NOT going to be a country album. He even posted a video on his Instagram confirming to fans that it is not a country album. Even though just looking at the track list, fans would immediately assume it is a country album based off of song names like, “Flannel,” “Breeze Off the Pond,” and “Livin’ Off the Land.”
After listening to the album all the way through, it seemed like the sound was undecided. You can’t tell whether Timberlake wanted to go with his classic, futuristic smooth pop sound or go for a country twang sound. The heartfelt highlight is the last song on the album called, “Young Man,” dedicated to Timberlake’s three-year-old son, Silas. This song is about Timberlake’s hopes for his son to grow up as an overall good and respectable man. Silas is even featured on the track saying, “I love you daddy.” Besides that, the other main highlights of the album were the three singles he released and additionally the songs, “Montana,” “Higher Higher,” and “Wave,” which seemed like the only songs that were close to the sound Justin Timberlake is originally known for. The other half of the album sounds like futuristic country twang, so if you’re into that then take a listen to the title track, “Man of the Woods,” “Breeze off the Pond,” or “Flannel.”
Moving to Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl halftime performance two days later, fans were not that impressed and were left wanting more. It seemed like Timberlake played it safe, not that playing it safe means that the performance wasn’t exceptional because it was. He is a phenomenal entertainer and sang great, his dancing was extraordinary as always, his band, “The Tennessee Kids” delivered an outstanding performance, and he moved people to tears when he turned Minneapolis purple during his tribute to Prince. But, there were no guests and not a lot of new music, which is what people love about halftime performances.
There was no *NYSNC, Jay-Z or Janet Jackson this time, which upset fans tremendously. But, he did sing classics like, “Sexyback,” “Cry Me A River,” “Mirrors,” and “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” which ended the show. With that being said, he only sang one song from the album he released two days prior, which was, “Filthy.” Compared to the past two Super Bowl performances, Coldplay brought Beyoncé and Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga debuted new songs from her album, “Joanne,” so the bar was set pretty high and in comparison, to those performances Timberlake did not deliver as much as fans would have hoped.
What’s next for Justin? Well, Timberlake will be starting his, “Man of the Woods” tour along with his amazing band, the Tennessee Kids on March 13th in Toronto and will be coming to Boston three times this year, April 4th and 5th and October 18th. You don’t want to miss it because Justin Timberlake has always been and will continue to be, a great entertainer and performer. His album, “Man of the Woods” is out now.