Justin Timberlake opens up about his forthcoming album to Variety.

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Justin Timberlake opens up about his forthcoming album to Variety.

Timberlake executive produced the Trolls animated film soundtrack, which features a handful of new songs from him alongside Gwen Stefani, Ariana Grande and his co-star Anna Kendrick, but the music, namely “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” was a bubbly departure from the harrowing sounds incorporated throughout The 20/20 Experience.

If you miss JT’s dark side, you’re in luck.

In a new interview with Variety, Timberlake says his next project is all-encompassing.

“I wouldn’t say [my new material] is the antithesis of ‘20/20,’ but it does sound more singular,” he says. “If ‘20/20’ sounded like it literally surrounds your entire head, this stuff feels more like it just punches you between the eyes.”

As he has for every record, JT is collaborating with Timbaland and Pharrell Williams, but he’s also enlisting Max Martin, who produced “Can’t Stop.”

“Tim is a sound junkie, the same way Pharrell is a song junkie. And then Max is like music’s Morpheus.”

Pharrell chimes in.

“Songwise, I think we’ve got a good solid six that are like, ‘Whoa, what was that? Play that again,’” Williams said.

He also told them the studio sessions have been very self-reflective (it’s like you’re my mirror). “I would pay Justin a huge compliment to say he’s just discovering who he is now.”

Pharrell explains: “For the biggest pop stars in the world, the place where they have the most trouble is honesty. It’s hard for them to know that the beauty of a record, the sweetest spot in the song, is where they show vulnerability. Because there’s a formulaic sort of vulnerability, like, ‘Baby, I can’t sleep without you …’ and that’s not really it. But if you’re able to really screenshot your own vulnerability, and frame it properly, and color-correct it, then it becomes something that every human can relate to. And I think Justin is in the place where he’s mastering that right now.”

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

The new dad is hard at work on the album, but don’t expect it to drop any time soon.

“I think everyone I’m working with right now knows that I’m notorious for being like, ‘Yeah let’s work. I have no idea when I’ll put it out, though,’” he says. “I’ll put it out when it’s done — when it feels right.”

He continues: “I’m just in the now of now. I think it’s an effect of just enjoying my life more. For a long time I lived my life for a lot of other people, or for the idea that those other people had an idea of me. And whatever — there’s a guy who’s gonna wake up tomorrow and transfer an organ from one body to another and save someone’s life — so what are we even doing?”

Read the full interview here.

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