Justin Timberlake released his latest album, Man of the Woods, on Feb. 2, and country music fans might be surprised to hear that a familiar name had a hand in one of the singer's new tracks.
Reviews of the album by multiple publications including The Guardian indicate that country singer Toby Keith has a songwriting credit on Timberlake's new album. A representative for Keith confirmed the report to Pitchfork, and ASCAP also said that Keith's credit is on the song "Sauce."
Keith is credited with multiple other writers on the track, including Timberlake, and his name has been absent from RCA Records’ press releases about the project, which have touted other collaborators including Timbaland, The Neptunes, Alicia Keys and Chris Stapleton.
Neither Keith nor Timberlake has publicly acknowledged the contribution, though Timberlake described "Sauce" as the glue that binds “Filthy” and the title track in an interview with Amazon.
“I was mixing the record,” Timberlake explained, “and felt like I needed something rhythmic but that had a little bit of edge to it but was still fun like, ‘How do I bridge ‘Filthy’ and ‘Man of the Woods?'”
While Timberlake himself made sure to note that Man of the Woods is not a country album, which he explained to fans in a recent Instagram video, the project is full of nods to the South.
The album features songs with titles like "Flannel," "Montana" and "Livin' Off the Land," and a promotional video for the project showed Timberlake walking in various natural settings including a cornfield and a forest, standing on a mountain and sitting by a bonfire. The album itself also combines genres to create a sound that has been received to mixed reviews.
Photo Credit: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com