Fans haven't taken too kindly to Justin Timberlake's new single, 'Filthy'
So this wasn't what we were expecting.
After surprising the world with an announcement on Tuesday that he would be releasing a new album this coming February, Justin Timberlake has today released the first single from Man of the Woods - as well as its accompanying video.
Titled 'Filthy', the song is an attempt at sounding futuristic in a George Michael 'Freeek!' type of way - sadly nowhere near as good - produced by both Timbaland and Danja.
As two contrasting geniuses who have worked with JT before, it's surprising that this is what they came up with. It sounds sluggish, it sounds lazy, the beat sounds as if the two were fighting over who got top billing and so each of their beats were just played over the top of one another to appease any egos that might get damaged.
The ironic thing about it is that in attempting to sound futuristic in 2018, "Filthy" sounds dated, clunky and out of touch, and it's not even close to as fresh as his FutureSex/LoveSounds album that came out almost 12 years ago.
While it's not clear as to who else will produce on Justin's upcoming album, Timbaland did drop Pharrell's name into the conversation when he gave fans a little pep talk via Instagram on what to expect from Man of the Woods (he also featured in the teaser trailer for the album).
The video for 'Filthy' is directed by Mark Romanek and is the best thing about the single. With a proven track record, having already directed videos for JAY-Z ('The Story of O.J.') and Taylor Swift ('Shake It Off'), Romanek was the obvious choice to bring to life Justin's dance-heavy concept.
In the visual, we see JT playing the role of a Steve Jobs-esque tech visionary presenting one of his latest creations at the Pan-Asian Deep Learning Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His creation is an Artificial Intelligence robot. Controlling the AI from backstage, when he moves, it moves. When he dances, it dances. A very entertaining concept that's a pretty enjoyable watch, it's just a shame the song isn't really that good.
Justin Timberlake will drop three more videos created by three different directors before the release of Man of the Woods, which is set to drop on 2 February, just two days before he takes to the stage in Minneapolis for the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday, 4 February.
So, fans can be safe in the knowledge that 'Filthy' is not the Country record they were not looking forward to hearing after seeing the teaser trailer for Mr. Timberlake's new album; instead, they can expect a song that just isn't that good.
Some fans are already tweeting their disappointment in the return of the former NSYNC star:
— your fav papi 👅 (@itserok) January 5, 2018
exactly what kind of woods was justin timberlake in
— Hanif Abdurraqib (@NifMuhammad) January 5, 2018
Good news everyone. The new Justin Timberlake song isn't rootsy country rock.
It's just fuckin' awful.
— holidaykirk (@HolidayKirk) January 5, 2018
I am a huge Justin Timberlake fan, but after waiting till 12 to hear his new single #Filthy off the #ManoftheWoods, I have one conclusion...we desperately need @Timbaland to produce this whole album. Disappointing Single. Last two albums were incredible. JT and Timbo are a must pic.twitter.com/h4KkKAGJPx
— Amir Eldick (@AmirToThe) January 5, 2018
Me trying to figure out how to dance to Justin Timberlake’s new song pic.twitter.com/CTGudSb1S9
— Michael James (@mvchaeljames) January 5, 2018