Back to roots with 'Man of the Woods'
“If you know what’s good,” you will know this is it. Justin Timberlake introduced his album “Man of the Woods” on Feb. 2, with monstrous instrumentals tied to a slow development of spacey synthetics.
Minute 1:34’s high note is what I am here for. There is a twist though; who is the woman in the trees? What am I supposed to see? I feel as though the name “Midnight Summer Jam” along with the woman in the woods is maybe a reference to Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” We know for sure that something starts at midnight; Timberlake is making that very clear when suddenly we are in a futuristic Spaniard-dance battle after midnight.
The beginning of “Sauce” comes from a video that went viral. In Sauce, he is almost daring the woman to come close by saying “go ahead, say I won’t.” It is catchy with its upbeat tempo. In a video on Instagram, Timberlake explained that “Man of the Woods” is about his son Silas, since his name means “of the woods.”
In “Higher Higher” he claims fame is a lie and money is just fine. “Wave” is a personal favorite, as it speeds up throughout the song, or at least it feels like it is when he says he dreams of their paradise. In “Supplies,” he is trying too hard to sound like something that would go into Billboard’s 2018 Top 100. Bringing Alicia Keys into “Morning Light” for some smooth vocals was the right direction. Whether you are clapping or snapping along, you know it is one of those easy beats you listen to while getting ready in the morning.
Timberlake mentioned this is not a country album, but bringing in Chris Stapleton for “Say Something” might prove otherwise, at least for that particular song. Moreover, there is a country vibe set in the foundation of the album. The “Hers (Interlude)” is a diary entry by the woman he loves; it is an open book to the world of their relationship and a simple symbol of it (a shirt with tears). This interlude introduces “Flannel” perfectly, where he mentions her again as he sways between sounds. The end, however, goes back to the woman and some sensory illusion she is portraying with her words.
“Montana” brings electric guitar sounds that remind listeners of Michael Jackson in his prime. He brings in religion and God towards the end as he explains how he wants his life to include all the difficult things that always come. “I want to be there when the storm comes,” he sings as he admits he wants the hard stuff of life. Lastly, “Young Man” is a recording of his son saying “daddy,” as he advises him to sit down like a young man and listen to elders with respect.