Justin Timberlake – Man of the Woods Review


We offer our take on the pop star's latest album.
RCA, 2018
Purchase: Amazon

2.0 / 10

Go through any story about famous creative bungles, from the sixth season of Saturday Night Live to The Room to the one time Lou Reed and Metallica decided to put out a concept album about an obscure Russian play, and you’ll find the most hysterical part in every tale is the when the involved players offer the logic behind their ever thinking what they were working on was worth a damn. The rush of a creative process can put blinders on an artist. And this may lead them to believe everything they’re doing is gold. Or shit, but that’s not the issue here. And while even the best works of our time needed refinement before being going to the public, the truly bold put their shit sandwich in front of us with a Cheshire cat smile and say “look at my masterpiece in which I compare my loved one’s vagina to a faucet”. It’s admirable, to a degree.

Justin Timberlake should be above this sort of disaster. He’s put out underwhelming albums before. Look no further than the second part of The 20/20 Experience. He’s even put out albums where the bad songs outnumber the good. I see you, FutureSex/LoveSounds. But he hasn’t put out a purely bad album until now. It’s a record that sounds like it took the most amount of effort of all his work while also taking the fewest number of risks. There’s a hysterical story of how Man of the Woods came together and how many yes-men had to grin through a Migos take and his comparing his purple to her pink and so many other wallbangers. Get on this, Hollywood, and if I may be so bold: Ryan Phillippe as Justin Timberlake, Anthony Mackie as Timbaland, and Lacey Chabert as Jessica Biel.

I’m putting more stock in the backstory of Man of the Woods than Man of the Woods itself. Why? Because Jesus Christ, have you tried listening to this shit? Timberlake’s sense of rhythm here is dashed to all hell. Only “Midnight Summer Jam” comes close to having a beat I can dance to. His propensity for extended compositions, the highlights of his albums, is completely absent. Man of the Woods is sixteen tracks over just an hour, and “Jam”‘s five minutes are the most any track gets. Even his come-ons are shit. He replaces his conveyed affection towards his better half (registering to the general public as high-quality self-insert love fantasies—I’m a fan) with telling us how awesome it is to be able to fuck Jessica Biel (“faucet“). Taylor Swift’s reputation may have been the worst pop album of 2017, but at least that abomination had a good song or two on it. That’s far more than can be said for this shitheap.

I’m just saying if The Disaster Artist 2 grosses nine figures whenever it comes out, remember that I called it first.

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