Two years ago, rumors of pop star Justin Timberlake’s plans to release a country album were blowing up online. Now, the record he worked on in his home state of Tennessee is finally getting released.
Man of the Woods, due out on Feb. 2, looks to be an homage to his roots and the people that have made him who he is today. “This album is really inspired by my son, my wife, my family, but more so than any album I’ve ever written, where I’m from,” Timberlake says in the video teaser above.
The clip also has some music samples of his new project laid over scenic imagery of him, yes, out in the woods. A female voice also appears to describe Timberlake’s new sound.
“It feels like mountain, streams, campfires. Like Wild West, but now,” she says.
But from what we can hear in this one minute clip, we shouldn’t expect a full tilt to traditional country. As many expected, it looks to sonically follow his track “Drink You Away,” which mixes country elements with the trademark pop production that he’s become known for.
We’ll get a clearer picture of what’s to come from Timberlake when his first cut from the new record drops this Friday, Jan. 5. It’s also currently unclear if any of the singles from Man in the Woods will be distributed to country radio.
Although he hasn’t released a new album since 2013, Timberlake has spent the past few years working on growing a new set of roots near Nashville. He bought a house near the Music City and performed at the Pilgrimage Music and Arts Festival in Franklin, Tenn. last fall. There, he reunited with famous duet partner Chris Stapleton, once again sparking rumors that he was looking to move his sound more towards the country realm.
There are still a lot of unknowns about this new project, but it’s easy to see that the speculation of Timberlake trading in his suit and tie for a Carhartt jacket was pretty spot on. With crossover artists like Thomas Rhett and Sam Hunt taking the charts by storm in 2017, it paves the way for Timberlake to bring his own flavor of country music to an already receptive audience at country radio.
One thing is for sure. We should all get ready to see and hear a lot of Timberlake in the weeks to come. Man of the Woods will drop just two days before he’s set to perform during the Super Bowl halftime show in Minneapolis, Minn.