Justin Timberlake, ‘Say Something’ | Track Review
In advance of fifth LP ‘Man of the Woods,’ Justin Timberlake saves his best single – “Say Something,” featuring Chris Stapleton – for last.
The return of Justin Timberlake is a big deal. After all, he’s Justin Timberlake. He has a terrific voice and throughout his career, he’s proven himself to be a compelling artist. That said, in advance of his fifth studio album, Man of the Woods, it’s been difficult to figure out what to expect from the project two singles in. “Filthy” was an off-putting promo single, while “Supplies” was arguably better, yet still ‘different.’ For the third and final pre-release single, Timberlake is joined by his pal, Chris Stapleton, on “Say Something.”
“Say Something” comes truest to the characterization that Justin Timberlake provided in regards to Man of the Woods. The appearance of Chris Stapleton itself confirms the country influence. It’s also perceptible from the production, thanks to use of rhythm guitars, vocal harmonization, and other intentional cues. Still, Timberlake doesn’t shy away from the pop, vocally and percussively. The repetition of the chorus, perfectly exemplifies modern pop.
In addition to a successful fusion of country and urban-pop, vocally, both Timberlake and Stapleton deliver compelling performances. When they sing together, there’s clear chemistry. This makes “Say Something” the best single of Man of the Woods to date. As aforementioned, repetition bodes in Timberlake’s favor, particularly the infectious, memorable chorus:
“Everybody says say something / Say something, say something / Say something, say something / I don’t wanna get caught, up in the rhythm of it / But I can’t help myself, no, I can’t help myself, no no.”
The first-time hearing “Say Something,” I still wasn’t sure how I felt about Man of the Woods prior to its release. The second time, it was clear that Justin Timberlake may have found the right single with an appealing sound. “Say Something” isn’t the second coming, but the chemistry between Timberlake and Chris Stapleton is incredible. This is a fun, enjoyable pop single that successfully incorporates elements of country.