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Released: 5th January 2018.

Justin Timberlake - FilthyFive years removed from his last lead single proper "Suit & Tie," Justin Timberlake recruits the ol' faithful production squad of Timbaland and Danja for the electro-pop/R&B concoction "Filthy," the precursor to his upcoming 'Man of the Woods' LP.

The high-energy 'Hey, if you know what's good' greeting, decorated with all the fittings of a sci-fi thriller, segues into a rather uneventful refrain and chorus, and "Filthy" disappointingly settles into this lazy pace for most of its five-minute-long run (well, more of a jog than a run really). Timberlake reminds his audience throughout the track that "this ain't the clean version," but there's every indication from the lacklustre, shoddily arranged instrumental and lyrics, that perhaps this ain't (or shouldn't have been) the final version either. It's more 'elevator cut' than album cut.

It's not the first time JT has gotten a new era off to a worrying start. "Suit & Tie" was an even more disastrous collision than this one, yet 'The 20/20 Experience' was still a thoroughly decent - if not lengthy - record, so expect fans and critics alike to stay tuned to the promotional singles still to come to get a better idea of the direction the pop star is heading. He seems to want to lead fans into the woods, but "Filthy" doesn't prompt one to pack his camping bag just yet.

* * * (JSparksFan)

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