I have always been a fan of Justin. His dance moves and his fashionable style are pretty spiffy. I’m gay, but I find him to be attractive, for a guy. His voice and vocal range are enticing. So I was happy when a new album finally came out.
We start out on “Man of the Woods” with ‘Filthy’ which has some funk, electronic, and rock all mixed in. Oh, and there’s the R&B influence in the vocals. “If you know what’s good” brings in a Transiberian Orchestra type guitar piece that I’m not a fan of. I don’t think it’s fake though, because I’m not a hater (You will understand that reference when you have a listen to the song).
‘Midnight Summer Jam’ starts out with some funk and disco-like sounds. I can imagine Abba at the forefront at first. I think it is a song about partying and enjoying yourself. Not one of my favorite songs on the album however. It was not catchy enough to, well, catch me.
‘Sauce’ Is a little bit hokey. There are some twangy funk vibes going on here. There are some unusual sexual references, involving colors. Very inventive. I do not think I am a fan of the twang in the guitar on this song. The hook is catchy though.
‘Man of the Woods’ is a humble song about being about the woods… and his lady. The video for this track has his wife Jessica dancing, proving it is a love song, but I can’t connect the woodsie vibe with love. He’s a man of the woods, though, and it’s his pride. He mentions in some lyrics here that he’s a southern boy. He’s from Tennessee. I always thought that was in the Midwest. It’s higher up than Missouri, which is not southern, it is the Midwest. I never understood that. Oops I’ve gotten off track. Ha, track. Get it?
‘Higher Higher’ is a groovy R&B tune that showcases Justin’s lyrical beauty and the way he wraps the words around a hook real smoothly. I can imagine this one growing on me if I gave it a chance more than I really have. I can imagine this one becoming a single, as it harkens back to the days when Justin had just come from his humble beginnings in a boy band, but with more maturity and more poise.
‘Wave’ starts with a fast little reggae thing going on. It seems to be a song about vacationing somewhere where he can celebrate his love with his wife. It sounds like a mandolin is being used. Or is that a Ukulele? Again more catchy and smooth lyrical genius from Justin.
‘Supplies’ is the best track on the album. The intensity of the heavy R&B mixed with the extremely catchy chorus make for a song that gets stuck in your head. And it’s not really a bad song to get caught in your head. A rap beat set to some background beat boxing (subtle) as well as highly inventive lyrics make this one a track to listen for on the album.
‘Morning Light’ starts off soft, with perhaps what sounds like some old-skool samples from the 60’s (Think Burial), and it opens up into a mix of Americana and R&B. Yes it can be done, Justin shows us. A love ballad here, he hits the mark with his vocals, and the chorus is smooth and brimming with sexiness.
‘Say Something’ is a song, roughly, about being caught in the middle of some drama or fiasco, and the lesson we learn is that sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all. The chrorus is appealing and extremely catchy. Might be my 2nd favorite on the album. It’s got that vibe that I like. Just something about it. He sings with Chris Stapleton. I do not know who that is. But in the video he appeared to be a bearded hipster playing guitar. Great track here.
After this there’s an interlude of Jessica talking about Justin’s clothing reminding her of him. I can leave it.
‘Flannel’ Is a sweet song, probably sung to his wife. A bit slow, but he’s got that lyrical magic again… and there’s some Prince-esque vocal fanfare throughout. The chorus is the sweet part. Flannel will keep you warm, you know.
‘Montana’. When I think of Montana I don’t think of a Bee Gee’s disco song, but that’s exactly what Justin gives us here. I imagine indie rock or Americana when I think of Montana… maybe even country. I was not as impressed with this one, as it reminded me of some of the other tracks on the album. It didn’t really spark anything memorable. I also for the life of me could not find the word “Montana” in the song anywhere. I’ll ask Justin about that one.
R&B is stylistically prominent in ‘Breeze off the Pond’ – perhaps another love song (it seems to be a common theme on this album) that shows how content and at peace Justin is with his life and his love. A little slower of a track and it didn’t catch my attention in the background. I don’t remember this one as soon as it is over.
‘Livin off the Land’ has some samples in the beginning, leading into a… hmm.. menagerie of songs. Electronic snipping of Justin’s voice and some subtle beat boxing. Another R&B tune with some prolific lyrics that croon to the masses. I like this one, but again when it stops playing I can’t remember it.
In the next track, Justin wants you to give him ‘The Hard Stuff’…. whatever that means. Another love song, a bit slow again, and something that reminds me of some of the other tracks on the album that didn’t leave a lasting impression on me the first (few) time(s).
‘Young Man’ is a cute song, with Justin singing a song to/for his infant son. How to grow up and be a respectable man. There are some ‘goo-goo and ga-ga’ moments and it sounds a little coochie-coo, but that adds charm, I think, and stylistically the album is a little gospel with R&B mixed together, and there’s some toughness in Justin’s voice as well that would remind one of someone making sure their boy is set straight. A good last track on the album, I thought.
I give the album an A- as it doesn’t hit the mark in all aspects of what people (me) like to listen to, but it does satisfy the groove cravings inside. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go listen to ‘Supplies’ again. Enjoy.