All The Steps That Lead Justin Timberlake To ‘Filthy’

Is sexy back or nah?

justin timberlake filthy video

by Jazmin Kopotsha |
Updated on

We hoped, we prayed, we even dreamed. But deep down I’m not sure any of us really believed that the former prince of pop would be making a musical comeback anytime soon. But low and behold, here he is. Justin Timberlake is back with a new single and album on the way.

You might have spotted him teasing Man Of The Woods on social media earlier this week of course. The name of the album had people a little confused because well, Man Of The Woods sounds more like a James Bay meets Bon Ivor album title as opposed to the sexy pop R&B that JT normally offers.

In a voiceover for the album trailer, Justin explains: ‘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, and it's personal’. See here Justin Timberlake being a man in the woods, gentleman of the water and frolicker of fields.

Not what you expected? Us neither. Nor Twitter for that matter.

‘so ur telling me Justin timberlake went camping once and no he’s a mumford and/or son’, said one tweeter. Another compared his vibe to that of Britney circa I’m Not A Girl

Nevertheless, despite the folksy, one with the earth vibe that we all got from the album teaser, the first single from the album appears to be anything but. It’s a bit funkier than anticipated. Also, the video has nothing to do with being in the woods. It’s set in the year 2028 at the Pan-Asian Deep Learning Conference in Malaysia. It features a cocky dancing robot. See for yourself below.

WATCH: Filthy By Justin Timberlake

Now. You might be thinking, how on earth did we get here, Justin? Four years after the* 20/20 Experience* album, how did we land at a teaser for a county album and the video for a futurist new funk track? Let’s retrace his steps, shall we?

1. The Future Sex/Love Sounds Album

This was a fun one. Future Sex/Love Sounds was Justin’s second album out of Nsync and probably his most experimental at the time. It was forward thinking and full of that electro-soul vibe that we for a time really associated with JT. There was a bit of a techno influence (remember My Love?) and also, it was sexy. Despite initial interpretations of the Man of The Woods album as a whole, Filthy is a lot closer to home than we anticipated. Consider FS/LS an early stepping stone.

2. All those Timbaland collaborations

There was a time when Timberlake and Timbaland went hand in hand. He produced the majority of Future Sex/Love Sounds and also worked on JT’s debut album, Justified (throwback to his ever fleeting appearance in the Cry Me A River video).

Land and Lake reunited on Filthy and let’s be honest here, you can definitely hear the influence. No doubt this won’t be Timbaland’s last appearance on the new album

3. And let’s not forget the influence of Pharrell

Justin and Pharrell go way back too. And I'm sure you spotted him in the album's teaser trailer. But here's a little nostalgic flashback to those glorious early days.

4. There would be no JT without NSync

Did you spot those retro dance moves that the robot/Justin was doing in the *Filthy *video? Try and tell me some of that robot routine did not come straight out of 1997.

5. And that stint in The Social Network

In the *Filthy *video Justin appears to be embracing the presentation skills of his inner tech genius. You know, the skills he learned when he played money hungry Sean Parker in the Social Network. Yes, tenuous link, we know. But he paused music to give acting a go and it's a really funny reference to a simpler, curly haired time of life.

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Follow Jazmin on Instagram @JazKopotsha

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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