After nearly five years, Justin Timberlake’s long-awaited fifth studio album, Man in the Woods, is finally due to be released in February. While fans will have to wait on bated breath to hear it in its entirety, they got a taste of it when he dropped his first single, “Filthy,” on January fifth.
The internet’s praise and condemnation for both the song and the music video came swiftly. Currently, it has over 10 million views on YouTube. That number is sure to expand exponentially as the days go on and more and more people jump to express their opinions.
It’s certainly not a complete departure from Timberlake’s style. It’s upbeat, poppy, and clearly intended to be something people want to dance to. However, opinions on how dance-worthy it is are pretty divided.
For all the controversy surrounding the song, the music video has experienced it tenfold. In it, Timberlake plays a nerdy robotics engineer. He rocks a knit sweater and glasses and presents a fascinating invention: a robot with some very provocative dance moves.
We interviewed Carrey Daniels, a die-hard Justin Timberlake fan who’s trying her best to accept the new video. “It’s a sexual Ted Talk. With robots. If that’s your thing, fine, I guess. But you can understand why it’s so polarizing.”
And it certainly is polarizing. While one might expect fans to immediately thumbs-up all things JT, like they have with a lot of his other videos, over 20 percent of the votes on “Filthy” are negative.
YouTube comments are, essentially, an elephant graveyard for intelligence, but they’re also where you find the most honest, unfiltered opinions of Justin’s new work. These negative comments can be accurately summed up in user CoreyHartsHauntedSunglasses’s comment. He wrote, simply, “Potato.”
Self-proclaimed music aficionado Ethan Vaughn wasn’t quite so succinct. “He weathered the collapse of the Boy Band industry in the early 2000s. Unlike the other teen heartthrobs from the ‘90s, people still know who he is. He’s had a good run. I mean, who can forget Sexyback? Classic. But it might be time for him to admit that he’s old.”
“This has been aptly named Justified Anxiety Disorder around in the social media psychology community,” said researcher Alan Fairchild, who colleagues say keeps a signed and framed Justin Timberlake photograph in his desk. “It harkens back to his first solo album. I think what the community is feeling is that same level of worry they felt back then. Will his fearlessness – his willingness to try new things – stand the test of time?”
Fans and haters alike were looking forward to Timberlake’s performance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show too. Camilla Richards, who’s followed his career since the days of NSYNC and has eighteen tour t-shirts in the back of her closet, said she’s had a countdown on her calendar since it was announced he would be performing and she wasn’t disappointed. “He was spectacular. He’s always spectacular. Thank goodness he didn’t bring that erotic robot with him.”
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.