The Super Bowl 2018 came to an end and featured the halftime performance by Justin Timberlake. The sporting event served as a platform to promote the singer’s fifth studio album and so far the reviews have been less than favorable towards Man of the Woods.
For starters, singers of the halftime show at the Super Bowl do not get compensated for their performance. However, millions of viewers do flock to watch the event for the ads and presentation artists unveil during intermission. Also, this once-a-year sporting event is the perfect opportunity to plug a new album.
Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods to date has received mixed reviews. In other instances, harsh criticism has been offered since its initial release. According to National Public Radio, in spite of the invitation to sing at the Super Bowl, Timberlake was haunted by the past (Janet Jackson controversy) and his latest Man of the Woods isn’t anything like his previous albums.
“The reception to the latter two has been mixed: Man of the Woods is shaping up to be his worst-reviewed solo work by a mile, and his Super Bowl performance unfolded in the long shadow of his 2004 performance with Janet Jackson, when half a second of exposed flesh sparked a major TV controversy and arguably derailed Jackson’s career.”
As stated by Billboard, critics have characterized the album as a mixture of semi-country and semi-pop while others have deemed it incoherent. If you are a fan of Timberlake’s music you could have mixed feelings in light of the comments made about the Man of the Woods album.
Rolling Stone asserted that Timberlake’s latest creation is due to the influence of Timbaland and the Neptunes. It is a fusion of country, blues, and folk. The biweekly magazine added that Timberlake just might be getting folks naked and ready for the apocalypse with his newest album.
The review from the British newspaper, the Guardian, was not impressed at all with Timberlake’s fifth album. They explained in their analysis he should have stuck to a pop identikit instead of this musical direction. The outlet rated a score of three out of five.
“The good bits are great, the bad bits best avoided, but in a pop world where originality isn’t much encouraged, there’s something really laudable about the intention behind it, and its author’s willingness to think outside the box.”
USA Today also had a critical review of Man of the Woods. It will not be the worst album in 2018 but emphasized that the singer was far from pop music. Furthermore, he was not re-inventing the wheel but continued to experiment with R&B, funk, pop, and soul.
What is safe to say the album is different compared to any of his previous works. What is worth pointing out, since his appearance in Super Bowl 2018 the number of downloads has spiked. Forbes reported that several thousands of downloads happened as a result of his musical performance.