After Armie Hammer, Anne Helen (Buzzfeed) asks: Why Is Justin Timberlake Pivoting Into The Woods?

Article on the title of Justin Timberlake’s new album, Man of the Woods, being the equivalent of a trip to a dude ranch: a projection of vulnerabilities and the desire to immerse himself in a world that doesn’t ask hard questions.

- talks the immediate response to Timberlake’s video, introducing himself as Man of the Woods and his rebranding and pandering of white america, after his music being tied to black producers.

- Says Timberlake's desire to return to where he is from speaks to a fetishization of the West and the promise of spaces where men can be men. And a pivotal point in his career and the place for white men in society consciousness, after he has been criticized for a wedding video and twitter gaffe.

- Timberlake has managed to avoid significant scandals and usually walks away unscathed from situations.

- Asks where Timberlake fits in current pop culture, after playing moody with Cry Me a River; player with My Love and happy-dance with Can't Stop the Feeling. The response for his Super Bowl performance was less of anticipation and more about #JusticeforJanet.

- Mentions that, when news came out of the family buying a house in Montana, insiders told magazines it was because of their son. Timberlake continued performing at festivals and award shows - even filming with Woody Allen. Now, the teaser for Man of the Woods shows the singer transformation from the suits to man of the woods.

- Argues the video seems performative and laughable because it doesn't seem like a natural progression, but a desire to control his image and show himself in a elemental, mythical, masculine world that doesn’t ask hard questions or demand nuanced answers.

- Compares it to the narrative change around John Mayer, who also moved to Montana, and how the was able to control his image.

- Says both moved to a sanitized, whitewashed and privileged myth of the West.

- Talks about so called lumbersexuals, Donald Trump Jr and the promise that manhood would be restored and any anxieties about your voice not mattering. These men are trying to control their image and fleeing criticism — in particular of the way they’ve handled questions on race and their own privilege.

- Admits it isn't clear how the image from the teaser will reflect on the album (the first music video represents what he would be fleeing). But it could represent and unwillingness to deal with questions on his music and image.

source: tweet 1, tweet 2