Justin Timberlake announced on January 2 that he would be delivering new music in the new year: a new single “Filthy” on January 5, and a new album “Man of the Woods” on February 2. Well the single has arrived along with a new music video that’s like if “Ex Machina” were a TED Talk. Watch it above.
Timberlake’s preview indicated his new album would take a more personal approach, but the first single is an electro funk party jam more in the spirit of “SexyBack.” True to the title of the song, he sings, “No this ain’t the clean version / And what you gonna do with all that meat? / Cookin’ up a mean serving.” But it opens on a surprisingly defensive note with the lyrics “Haters gonna say it’s fake / I guess I got my swagger back,” though it’s unclear who might have thought he’d lost his swagger. He earned an Oscar nomination, won his 10th Grammy, and was named as the headliner for the 2018 Super Bowl Halftime Show, all in the last 12 months.
“Filthy” is written by Timberlake along with Timbaland, Danja, Larrance Dopson, and James Fauntleroy. Timberlake has collaborated with Timbaland throughout his career, from his 2002 solo debut album “Justified” to his most recent 2013 album “The 20/20 Experience.” Timberlake also worked with Danja on 2016’s “FutureSex/LoveSounds” and co-wrote with Fauntleroy on “20/20,” so “Filthy” is a synthesis of some of his favorite collaborators.
The video is directed by Mark Romanek, the famous music video auteur who has won three Grammys for helming “Scream” by Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson (1995), “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” also by Janet Jackson (1997), and “Hurt” by Johnny Cash (2003). He also directed one previous video for Timberlake, “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” his 2016 number-one hit from the animated film “Trolls.” Will all involved in “Filthy” reap Grammys next year? Vote in our poll below to let us know what you think, and sound off with your fellow music fans in our forums.