Justin Timberlake, Man of the Woods, Made Music Execs Eat Bugs, Cool

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We’re just about two weeks away from Justin Timberlake’s comeback album Man of the Woods, which is definitely real and not verging on self-parody. Sure, after the introductory single (and sexy Steve Jobs ode) “Filthy” hit the ‘net, there were doubts if JT was genuine about his newly claimed woodsy vibe, but rest assured: He’s dead serious about the aesthetic, at least when it comes to record release events. Because he will make you eat bugs.

On Tuesday night, Timberlake hosted a listening party in New York City, lined with bushes and trees, for industry insiders, members of the press, and outdoorsy American Express cardholders. He also took a nod from the beloved (by me) reality show Fear Factor, and offered up bug-themed hors d’Oeuvres for guests, literally “ants coated in black garlic and rose oil and grasshoppers.” Yum!

The wilderness (and insect) interest, however unsurprisingly, won’t extend to his music: “I’m not going to go all Ray LaMontagne,” Timberlake said at the listening party, quelling legitimate fears that he’d actually follow through with the roots-y direction of the Americana singer-songwriter. The Associated Press also confirmed that “Filthy” is a better reference point than any of his goofy, vulnerable-Man vs. Wild album trailers, and that the record primarily leans on “upbeat pop, R&B and electronic tracks.” So as they say: don’t believe everything you see in Justin Timberlake trailers!


You’ll be able to hear Man of the Woods in its entirety February 2, and see Timberlake return to the Super Bowl stage on February 4.

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