When I heard the name of Justin Timberlake’s new album, Man of the Woods, I chuckled a little bit. The public’s watched him rise in the entertainment industry since his Mickey Mouse Club days, and unless he’s suddenly taken a Bon Iver turn into the US Midwest, the only thing woodsy about him is his beard. I’m not going to all of a sudden equate Justin Timberlake to Nick Offerman just because they share similar facial hair.
But at any rate, Justin Timberlake is here, with a new album, and the music (at least so far) is equally un-woodsy. The first single reunites JT with venerated producer Timbaland, a significant force behind Timberlake’s seminal 2006 album FutureSex/LoveSounds, which set the tone for the late ’00s integration of electronic influences into pop music. This time, they have once again returned to rule the airwaves, and this time Timbaland has taken on some of the more recent turns in dance music, like dubstep, while retaining a core of electronic funk boogieing down through the clubs.
Now, this isn’t any Britney Spears/Max Martin dubstep, lest you fear we’re returning to 2011: instead, Timbaland looks to capturing the spirit of today, and not into projecting the future like with his last Timberlake collaboration — though the video does take Timberlake into the 2020s. Watch it above, and expect three more JT videos to drop weekly starting January 18th to hold you over until Man of the Woods arrives on February 2.