Justin Timberlake promised us “woodsy” with his upcoming fifth album, Man of the Woods, but neither of the first two singles — the futuristic “Filthy” and Pharrell-produced “Supplies” — have quite lived up to that vibe. Enter “Say Something,” Timberlake’s brand new collaboration with country singer Chris Stapleton, with whom he famously performed at the 2015 Country Music Awards.
Timberlake and Stapleton’s moving duet comes to life in an ambitious live-performance video directed by Arturo Perez Jr. and La Blogothèque. Shot in just one take, it features the two singers demonstrating some serious coordination while playing guitar, walking around a gorgeous old building, and soulfully repeating the refrain, “Sometimes the greatest way to say something is to say nothing at all.” The song hits its climax as the two are joined by a full choir, who erupt in cheers when the shoot ends, prompting Timberlake to quip, “Holy shit — that’s one way to get a response.”
This is as close to Timberlake’s Memphis roots as he’s gotten so far (hey, he's finally picked up a guitar!), and it’s a promising sign of things to come.