By Marisa Taché
“Haters gon’ say it’s fake,” said American singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake in one of his latest singles, “Filthy.”
Timberlake recently dropped his fifth studio album, “Man of the Woods,” on Friday, Feb. 2.
Dedicated fans are embracing his newfound country-R&B vibe.
“Everything he does is so new, yet familiar,” said sophomore Justin Weigel. “It’s amazing that somebody who’s been around for so long can still stay so fresh and new.”
However, some other fans believe Timberlake has strayed too far from original style and aren’t as impressed.
“He used to have the best music, but the music on ‘Man of the Woods’ is way too different for me,” said junior Caroline Barry. “I miss his old songs like ‘Mirrors’ and ‘Suit & Tie.’ Personally, I’m not loving the new style he’s trying out and I’m overall disappointed with his album.”
The Billboard 200 chart reported that “Man of the Woods” is making its way for the No. 1 debut, according to industry forecasters. The album’s first released singles, “Filthy” and “Say Something,” have both reached the top 10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 since the album’s release date.
“I only like a few songs on his new album, but I think he’s had better albums previous to ‘Man of the Woods’,” said junior Kylie Lui.
Even though “Man of the Woods” is different from Timberlake’s original R&B styled albums, he still incorporates his R&B style in songs like “Morning Light;” which features R&B singer-songwriter Alicia Keys.
“Man of the Woods” has allowed Timberlake to step back into the spotlight and land his name back on top of the music charts.
In addition to the album, Timberlake also landed the spot to headline the Super Bowl LII halftime show on Sunday, Feb. 4.
Timberlake ditched the suit and tie for a flannel and neck-scarf, and started off the performance with his new single “Filthy.” However, the rest of the show mainly consisted of popular songs from his previous albums.
Performing ten of his “golden” singles seemed to please most of the viewers watching the show, but not everyone was satisfied with his halftime performance.
“I thought it was stale,” said junior Henley Solomon. “Nothing changed and the music was just bland and not exciting. I didn’t like it at all.”
Others really enjoyed listening to some of Timberlake’s old hits.
“I think Justin Timberlake’s halftime performance was really fun and exciting to watch,” said junior Olivia Wunder. “All my friends and I were singing along to every song. I enjoyed it so much that I was sad when it ended and I had to go back to watching the game.”
There are many mixed reactions to “Man of the Woods” and Timberlake’s Super Bowl halftime performance, but diehard Timberlake fans plan to stick by his work, no matter how different it may be from his old music.
“I’ve always been a big fan,” said Weigel. “And I always will.”