For those of you who were looking forward to getting a taste of the new rustic Justin Timberlake, I’m sorry to break the news to you but… you won’t find that JT in his new music video. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t hate it. I was just looking forward to getting more of the “walking through a field while wrapped in a blanket” Justin, or “all about wild horses” Justin, or even “I totally built this massive campfire without the help of anyone” Justin. Instead, the video for “Filthy” gives us… “Steve Jobs” Justin.
To be fair, “Filthy”, the debut track off Timberlake’s upcoming album Man of the Woods, is not a backwoodsy kinda song. I’m not really sure WHAT kind of song it is, actually. If pressed to describe it, I’d probably say it’s the kind of song JT recorded while so stoned that he lost track of time and didn’t realize he was basically just repeating the same thing (“Haters gonna say it’s fake / So real”) over a techno/funk beat for, like, four minutes straight. It’s part Prince, part trash fire. It’s the kind of phoning it in that will still make an excellent jam to listen to in the car, is what I’m saying.
So in that light, the video makes perfect sense. Justin, clad in a black turtleneck, stands on stage at a “Deep Learning Conference” (so deep!) in the year 2028 and introduces a shiny new robot that is DEFINITELY bringing sexy back, and DEFINITELY ISN’T plotting our mass extinction. Then he moves to the wings and lets the robot do all the work — and that work is dancing like Justin Fucking Timberlake.
And then the robot takes a bong rip, and inappropriately touches some female dancers. Apparently this new rustic Justin is all about letting machines step in and do everything he gets paid to do. Presumably so he can go ride horses or something.
This is how the robot uprising starts, people.
The video is directed by Mark Romanek, which pleases angsty teenage me on a deep level. Man of the Woods lands February 2nd.