Justin Timberlake has just announced the release of his fourth full-length record. Titled "Man of the Woods", it's scheduled to drop on February 2nd, and will be preceded by a new, so-far untitled single this Friday.
His return was announced earlier today through a one-minute short film Justin posted on his Twitter. The film shows the 36-year-old singer heading back to the place he was raised: Memphis, Tennessee. In the cowboy-style clip, we see JT swimming in creeks, standing in snowy forests, wrangling horses, and running through cornfields.
"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," he says in the film's monologue. As tasters of his new songs play, we hear his wife Jessica Biel comment on how his new stuff "feels like mountains; trees; campfires; like the Wild West, but now."
It suggests that Justin might be toying with a country-style switch up, much like a few of his pop peers did for their latest records. In 2016, Lady Gaga bared all on "Joanne" and Miley came of age (again) on "Younger Now" last Autumn, both acting as surprising, guitar-led records that were far detached from their older sounds. Could Justin be the new boy in the country pack?
It's his first album since 2013's two-part Grammy-nominated "The 20/20 Experience", which spawned the singles Mirrors and the Jay Z collaboration Suit & Tie. Having been spared of any backlash following his supporting role in Woody Allen's "Wonder Wheel" – and the radio monotony of Can't Stop The Feeling filed far back in our brains – could JT really make his mark as a pop artist with purpose in 2017?