Justin Timberlake’s musical comeback: will it be a success?
Mature re-emergence or nostalgic flashback?
The moment the world was introduced to N Sync in the late nineties was the moment brand Justin Timberlake was launched. JT stood out from his band contemporaries and his foray into solo work was inevitable. Now, more than twenty years later, comes his fifth solo album Man of the Woods. But the question is posed, will this be a successful comeback for Timberlake or an unfortunate attempt at reclaiming his status as a pop icon?
Five years have passed since Timberlake released The 20/20 Experience Parts 1 & 2 and a lot has changed in pop in that time. Suit and Tie and Mirrors appear to have aged badly when compared to what is being released in 2018. The unstoppable rise and success of artists such as Adele and Ed Sheeran demonstrate much greater honesty and maturity in both sound and lyrical themes than what comprised Justin’s ten-million selling debut solo album Justified (2002). The singles from that album Rock Your Body and Like I Love You draw much greater influence from the decade before than what has occurred in music since. Despite their phenomenal success at the time, Timberlake's reemergence could easily demonstrate that shift in tastes to his own misfortune.
The first singles from the new album, Filthy and Supplies do demonstrate a shift in the right direction, as they are clear departures from past tracks such as Cry Me a River and even 2016’s Can’t Stop the Feeling! However, this release would have, at one time, been a significant event, but with young music fans now awaiting releases from Bieber or Rihanna, Timberlake has to contend with a much more mature audience, and the expectation that brings with it. Shirking off his past cheesy pop associations and embracing a new older artist for many could prove difficult, but if he is to turn this release into another success, he's making the right noises. Only time will tell whether this new single will pass us by without as much as a whimper.
Watch the video for Justin Timberlake 'Supplies' below.