Whatever we were expecting from Justin Timberlake, it's safe to say we weren't expecting this. Far from a departure of his usual pop sound, the singer has reverted to type with his brand new song 'Filthy' - and it's about as far away from the country sound he hinted at as you can get.
'Filthy' is very much 'FutureSex/LoveSounds' Justin Timberlake rather than the country-focused sound we were expecting from his forthcoming new album 'Man of the Woods'. Co-written by Timbaland, Danja, James Fauntleroy and Lawrence Dopson, the track comes alongside a very futuristic video.
Directed by Mark Romanek, the video is supposed to be set at a Pan-Asian Deep Learning Conference in Kuala Lumpur in the year 2028 and sees a Steve Jobs-esque Justin presenting a fully-functional dancing robot to an enraptured audience.
So it's not quite the Wild West montage that we got in his album teaser clip released on Tuesday (January 2nd 2018); a clip featuring mountains, snow, bonfires, horses and trees.
'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. And it's personal', Justin said in the voiceover.
There's certainly nothing that screams Memphis, Tennessee in 'Filthy', but it's early days yet and this new track could merely be a curveball. Of course, what really matters is whether or not fans liked it. The verdict? Ultimately, it seems to have divided opinion: while some listeners have been left mind-blown by the futuristic sound and innovative songwriting, others have concluded it to be rather a disappointment. The only thing to do now is wait for the single charts to calibrate the new song.
'Man of the Woods' will be released on February 2nd 2018, ahead of his Super Bowl LII Halftime performance on February 4th.