Fans go wild after Timberlake performs at the Superbowl


Justin Timberlake has been getting a lot of attention from the media this year with the release of his new album and his Superbowl halftime performance.

Ava Fasciano and Lily Labella

From his unfortunate “Ramen Noodle” hair to his humiliating Super Bowl mishap in 2003, the public has stood by Justin Timberlake’s side no matter what.  After the release of his new album, Man of the Woods, will Timberlake continue to elicit the same level of excitement he has maintained as a leading pop figure for the past 15 years?

After his 2018 Super Bowl halftime performance on Feb. 4, the answer seems to be yes. His lengthy song medley received mixed reviews, but they were positive overall, a trend JT is used to over the years. 

Timberlake’s new album, which came out on Friday, Feb. 2, was the first he has released since The 20/20 Experience in 2013.  Timberlake’s old content was getting stale, and he was beginning to fade away from the spotlight. Right off the bat, Justin set this album apart from his previous work by being especially discreet about its release,  which is why you may not have heard about it until now.

The New York Times describes him as “looking beyond the pop star life,” which is a perfect explanation of the style the album conveys. As he feels ready to graduate from his pop star style, it is clear that Timberlake is trying to branch out and take a more edgy and unique approach to his music.  The songs in Man of the Woods demonstrate his experimentation with funk, soul, R&B, and pop and pay homage to the 1970s.

Many critics dismiss Timberlake’s latest creative venture as a failure, while others applaud his attempt to step outside of his comfort zone. 

“Man of the Woods, while certainly not 2018’s worst album, is further evidence that Timberlake is far from the pop music innovator he once was,” wrote Maeve McDermott of USA Today. 

Some complain that the new songs are unnecessarily repetitive, and many fans have expressed their disappointment about the album’s overall lack of catchiness, the very characteristic that originally brought Timberlake into the spotlight.

“Putting his good looks aside, I don’t care for Justin Timberlake. His songs lack a deep conceptual meaning, and I don’t plan on listening to his new album,” said sophomore Jaime Levin.

Although Timberlake’s new album is arguably not his best work, fans were reminded of his charm, impressive dance moves, and upbeat crowd pleasing songs after  his 12-minute performance at the 2018 Super Bowl Halftime Show.  It truly was a great antidote to his last performance on that stage.  If you aren’t familiar with the 2003 Super Bowl fiasco, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson executed a scandalous routine followed by a wardrobe malfunction which revealed a little too much of Jackson’s skin. While Janet Jackson’s career was kneecapped by the the unpredictability of live TV, Timberlake bravely returned to the stage to redeem himself.

“It was more like a football game in the middle of a Justin Timberlake concert,” said sophomore Maddie Hiller.

 From performing old favorites like “Sexy Back” and “Mirrors” to playing a tribute to Prince, Justin reassured his fans that the old American sweetheart was still in there behind that bold elk-patterned button down and red bandana.