Man of the Woods, the latest album by Justin Timberlake, is sure to be a hit with long-time fans, but for the casual listener, it’s not going to conjure up anything overly exciting or memorable.
Timberlake kicks the record off with plenty of groove in the Prince-esque Filthy and the funky, percussive Midnight Summer Jam , with both tracks utilising breathy vocals more commonly heard in his early career. Sauce and Higher Higher take the funk up a notch with wailing wah guitars over compressed beats and fuzzy bass.
The title track and Wave try to merge electronic percussion with country acoustic guitars, neither of which really work, as JT runs his smooth soulful voice under multiple harmonies.
Sadly, he continues this theme with Say Something (featuring Grammy winner Chris Stapleton), Flannel, Breeze Off the Pond and The Hard Stuff.
Man of the Woods has a promising start, and remains upbeat and danceable to the end, but almost every song is too long and repetitive, with each chorus or guitar line becoming irritable.
Edited by Nicole Moraleda