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02nd Jan 2018

Justin Timberlake has gone full Kanye West in the lead-up to the release of his new album

Rory Cashin

It is also known as “Doing a Beyoncé”.

It used be the case that an artist would release a few singles, give us the release date of their album, and then the album would come out, maybe a few more singles, a few music videos, and that was that.

Then Beyoncé flipped the script with the release of her self-titled fifth album (we’re sure other artists beat her to the punch of sudden/secret album drops, but come on, admit it, your faves can’t compete), and since then, everyone from Jay-Z to Taylor Swift to Kanye West have followed her lead by having huge viral campaigns in the lead-up to their new projects.

That, or stayed very quiet and just released them without warning.

However, the latter is not the way JT is heading with his new album.

While he hasn’t exactly said there is a new album inbound, he is due to headline the Superbowl Half-Time Show in February (no “wardrobe malfunctions” this time, eh?), and in December he trademarked some phrases, including ‘Man Of The Woods’ and ‘Fresh Leaves’.

If you head to his official website,, instead of the usual info on his albums and singles to date, it is essentially a blank page, with just one logo right in the middle of it.

A little bit magic-eye working out later, and you can make out some letters in there, all overlaid on each other. M-O-T-W, or, you might guess, Man Of The Woods, which has everyone thinking that’ll be the name of his first single, or the whole album.

It has been nearly five years since JT’s last album, the somewhat underwhelming The 20/20 Experience (which arrived in two parts, neither of which were great), and that arrived a full seven years after his much loved FutureSex/LoveSounds album.

Not that he’s been missing from the music scene since then, as you’ll remember his track ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ was pretty much everywhere in 2016, and he popped up the Foo Fighters’ track ‘Make It Right’ from their Concrete & Gold album last year.

As for the new album, there have been whisperings that he’s going country (it is also known as “Doing a reverse-Miley”), as well as rumours that he’s reuniting with Pharrell Williams (they haven’t officially worked together since ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ back in 2003), and his recent covers of ‘HUMBLE.’ have people thinking that Kendrick will be popping up for a collaboration, too.

Watch this sexy space…

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