With a curious trailer and a new single, music lovers have been wondering what direction Justin Timberlake would go in with his next album, Man of the Woods. And this week, a select group of people got to hear the album ahead of its February 2 release date.
The Tuesday event welcomed music journalists, industry insiders and American Express cardholders to New York City, where they enjoyed bushes and trees for decor and black garlic oil grasshoppers for snacks.
A trailer that showed Timberlake standing in the woods had many fans believing that Timberlake was primed to switch to country music. But according to Associated Press, the environment and the menu are all the countryside that listeners will get.
"Don't get too concerned about the pop star switching gears," Associated Press reports. "The album — much like the lead dance single — sticks to Timberlake's musical persona, as upbeat pop, R&B and electronic tracks make up the collection of 16 songs." Business Insider mirrors the report, saying "despite the singer's "back to nature" descriptions of the 16-track album, its music is a contemporary and characteristic fusion of R&B and pop, with electronic flourishes and occasional trap beats."
Timberlake himself spoke about the idea of him going country as well, joking "I'm not going to go all Ray LaMontagne." The name Man of the Woods is a reference to his two-year-old son, Silas, whose name means "living in the woods."
Associated Press also reported that the Chris Stapleton collaboration "Say Something" was a crowd favorite, that Alicia Keys guests on a song called "Morning Light," and that Silas appears on the closing track "Young Man."
That's where most of the details end, though - attendees signed non-disclosure agreements that prohibit them from speaking about the album in detail. The rest of us have the single "Filthy," but will have to wait until Feb. 2 to hear the full album.