Justin Timberlake‘s bringing lumberback? Not quite. J.T.‘s indeed back, but perhaps not quite in the way you were expecting.
Nearly five years since The 20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake returns with “Filthy,” the lead single / opening track off of his upcoming fourth studio album Man of the Woods.
Co-written and co-produced by Timberlake, Timbaland, and Danja, with additional writing from James Fauntleroy and Larrance Dopson, the dance-ready track finds Justin diving into a new futuristic sound. “Haters gon’ say it’s fake/ So real/ All my haters gon’ say it’s fake/ I guess I got my swagger back,” he declares in the first few seconds.
The song is a stretched out dance floor epic shape-shifter, expanding for nearly five minutes over a funky building pulse and flares of classic disco that carry hints of Prince. “I said, put your filthy hands all over me/ And no, this ain’t the clean version/ And what you gonna do with all that meat?/ Cookin’ up a mean servin’,” he seduces endlessly, growing into a especially interesting outro. It’s honestly a welcome new musical direction for Justin: “Filthy” isn’t istantly definable, which is part of what makes it so intriguing — and certainly the reason why I’m officially very interested in this project.
“Filthy” is set to be followed by three new songs and visuals released weekly, while Man of the Woods is due February 2nd, two days before Justin performs at the Super Bowl LII Halftime Show on February 4. The follow-up to 2013’s The 20/20 Experience is set to feature a fusion of “traditional American rock with modern influences” and appearances from The Neptunes, Timbaland, Chris Stapleton, and Alicia Keys.
“This album is really inspired by my son, my wife, my family, but more so than any other album I’ve ever written, where I’m from,” Justin explained in the video teaser. “It’s personal.”
Justin Timberlake’s new single “Filthy” is also available on Apple Music and Spotify now!