Justin Timberlake Brings the Nashville Style to Oracle

His sound has gone from effervescent boy band pop to smoky regret-tinged blues and rough honky-tonk tunes.


Photo by Ryan McGinley

Who would have thought, all those years ago during the great boy band epidemic of the late ’90s, that the pretty face of NSYNC would go on to fame and fortune as an actual musician? Since those bygone days, Justin Timberlake has made his name as the leading man of pop and neo-soul, blowing up the charts with hits like “SexyBack” and “My Love.”

After taking a hiatus from music to pursue an acting career that culminated in such luminous roles as Napster founder Sean Parker in The Social Network and the paranoid survivalist troll in Dreamwork’s Trolls, Timberlake returned to music in 2013 with his fourth album, The 20/20 Experience.

His newest album, The Man of the Woods, sees an older, subtler, more mature Timberlake moving away from the effervescent sounds that characterized so many of his most popular offerings. Timberlake returns to his roots as a native of Tennessee, experimenting with songs inspired by a smooth fusion of smoky regret-tinged blues, rough honky-tonk, and the ever-famous Nashville sound. Timberlake’s latest album shows the influence of his new status as a family man, both as a husband to Jessica Biel and as a father to a new son. The warm, soothing tracks of The Man of the Woods ooze a familial coziness that clearly communicates Timberlake’s excitement and trepidation at this new stage of his life. Fri., March 15, 7:30 p.m., tickets start at $49.50, Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland, OracleArena.com.

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