As expected, Justin Timberlake's new album will be released timed to his appearance in Minneapolis next month for the Super Bowl LII half-time show. There’s even a discernably Minnesotan aesthetic to the title and promo video for the record, which will be called “Man of the Woods” and arrives Feb. 2, two days before the big game.
“This album is really inspired by my son, my wife, my family, but more so than any other album I've ever written, where I'm from," Timberlake says in the video that accompanied Tuesday's announcement (posted below). "It's personal."
Timberlake is from a woodsy area of Tennessee just north of Memphis near the Mississippi River. His wife, actress Jessica Biel – who appears in the video along with their son, Silas -- is from the north woods of Minnesota. She was born in Ely, and although her family moved away early in her childhood, she reportedly still visits on occasion.
At least one national music blog noted how Timberlake's album announcement resembled the work of a Wisconsin music maker well-loved in the Twin Cities (one who famously made his first album in a cabin in the woods): “Pretty funny that the pop star who once parodied Bon Iver on SNL has now apparently made his very own Bon Iver album,” wrote Stereogum.
Further details of JT's album are still under wraps, but the video at least confirms that Pharrell Williams was a primary collaborator. The album’s release during Super Bowl week will add fuel to the rumors that Timberlake might play a secret/unannounced show somewhere in town that week. However, that would be a rarity among half-time performers, who have plenty of other busywork to do that week.