Justin Timberlake can't get out of his own way. On February 2, the 36-year-old former N*SYNC member and ex-Mouseketeer will release a new album, auspiciously titled Man of the Woods, and the roll-out for this comeback record, which follows 2013's tepidly received The 20/20 Experience -- 2 of 2, has been hilarious to watch. Every element -- including the woodsy cologne ad album announcement, the Kanye-like unveiling of the tracklist and the TED talk about a horny robot music video -- feels micromanaged within an inch of its life. With that Super Bowl LII halftime show quickly approaching, Timberlake clearly wants a win.
From a commercial standpoint, it's certainly possible that he'll get one -- remember, his incredibly irritating Trolls soundtrack number "Can't Stop the Feeling!" was a huge chart hit in 2016 -- but on a larger cultural level, it's hard to not feel like Timberlake, a pop icon now entering his third decade of stardom, has lost the map. Or, he left the map in whatever cabin he rented to go on a Bon-Iver-by-way-of-Jeremiah-Johnson journey of self-discovery. Either way, the guy is flailing.