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Justin Timberlake released a video for his new song “Filthy” on Friday morning, squashing any speculation about whether he’s making a full transition to country with his upcoming album, Man of the Woods.
The Mark Romanek-directed video shows Timberlake, dressed as a Steve Jobs figure, giving a presentation at the Pan-Asian Deep Learning Conference in Malaysia in 2028. The singer introduces a robot and leads it through a series of dance moves that grow increasingly elaborate and risqué. The routine culminates in a half-dozen scantily clad women simulating sex with the robot, earning a standing ovation from the previously conservative audience.
Musically, “Filthy” sounds right at home next to other JT smash hits such as “Suit & Tie” and “SexyBack,” as fat guitar riffs give way to a slinky bass line, digitized drum beats and pounding electronic flourishes. Timberlake delivers a sensual, understated vocal performance, proclaiming, “Haters gonna say it’s fake; so real.”
Man of the Woods arrives Feb. 2, marking Timberlake’s first full-length album since 2013’s The 20/20 Experience. It will feature production from Timbaland and the Neptunes, as well as guest appearances by Chris Stapleton and Alicia Keys. Timberlake will likely give some of the upcoming songs a live debut during his Super Bowl halftime show performance on Feb. 4.
Bryan Rolli is a reporter who specializes in streaming entertainment. He writes about music and film for Forbes, Billboard, and the Austin American-Statesman. He met Flavor Flav in two separate Las Vegas bowling alleys and still can’t stop talking about it.