A Bit of Pop Music’s Fan Panel discusses: Justin Timberlake – Filthy


Justin Timberlake made his long-awaited comeback at the start of the new year with his brand new single ‘Filthy’, first track taken from the upcoming album Man of the Woods, out on the 2nd of February. It is safe to say that JT received a very, very mixed response to his new track and video. In A Bit of Pop Music’s very own review, I tried to make sense of the out of the box production with sudden changes of pace and how this track fits in with the whole Man of the Woods narrative. A perfect moment to ask some help from our fan panel, who will tell us all their thoughts on Justin Timberlake’s comeback!

Zuheir, Malaysia
“Not too long ago I decided that I do not enjoy music inspired by yesteryear’s style (I aptly accused it as the period of music decadence), but then Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ proved me wrong. And so did ‘Finesse’ by Bruno Mars! Likewise, Justin Timberlake’s ‘Filthy’ proved that my principle is as fickle as a teenage girl in a shoe shop. Given the right beat, catchy lyric, and Mr Timberlake himself, I find myself to be playing this song on a loop over the weekend and particularly enjoyed the freshness, oddly enough, coming from the music that I truly detest: gloomcore. What made it an interesting listen is that thanks to the composition, it knows better than to rely on just the beat, partially influenced by the music of artists like Green Velvet and The Horrorist, for the entire duration of the song. The hook (‘If you know what’s good’) strongly deviates from the repetitive progression of the techno for just enough time to provide a relief from the heavy synthesiser noise, crucial to making the song digestible. All in all, I find this song an exciting welcome to the new year and to the new Justin.”

Marjolein, The Netherlands
“I have to admit that after ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’, I had quite high expectations from new Justin Timberlake material. Maybe I have been looking forward to it too much… I gave ‘Filthy’ more than one chance, but I just can’t get into it. I hate to say it, but I just find the beat to be annoying and even his voice doesn’t sound nearly as good as it normally does. Especially in the beginning it is like he is just talking over a beat. The tempo changes are interesting, but as soon as the beat starts again I just want to turn it off. Maybe, and that is a really big maybe, I would dance to this when I hear it in a club but I would never play it myself. Let us hope the rest of the album is better than this one!”

Jarrod, New Zealand
“The first thing I noticed when listening to this song is that it sounds like listening to a low quality version.  I’m not entirely sure if this is done on purpose or if there’s something wrong with my ears. I even tried it with the volume turned up like the cover suggests. It doesn’t sound any better. The first lyrics we hear is “haters gonna say it’s fake”. I don’t know nor do I care what he’s talking about. As the song plays on I have no idea what he’s singing about and all I can think of is how this sounds like the title track of his second solo album. I’m not a fan of blue eyed soul so I’m not a fan of this. I gave it a few more tries, but it bores me. At no point was I looking forward to hearing this again.”

Tim, The Netherlands
“I can see why a lot of people seem to think that ‘Filthy’ is underwhelming. The song lacks a melody or strong hook that really sticks with you. That being said, after a few listens I kinda dig it. It’s not really a club banger or even a song you put on before you go out, but try playing this one when you’re strutting your stuff down the street. ‘Filthy’ has a certain swag about it and Justin seems to channel George Michael around the time of ‘Freeek’. Not just lyrically, but also in his vocal delivery. In short: ‘Filthy’ isn’t a brilliant comeback or an instant hit like ‘SexyBack’ was, but it’s definitely not a huge bomb either.”

Well, that is another mixed bag of reactions to ‘Filthy’…


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