The extent to which Justin Timberlake is a man of the woods is, well, debatable—even if his freshly released album, entitled Man of the Woods, posits that he is one. But what we’re sure about is that the merch he’s selling to promote it is great—and that’s because it’s made by the kinds of gear companies Men’s Journal editors have been testing, wearing, loving and championing for over 25 years.
The gear, which will not be available in the woods, or even on the Internet, but exclusively at a New York City pop-up shop from February 9 to 11, is named after each of the 16 tracks on the album. And while it’s all well made, not all of it makes sense. Yeti dedicated a cooler to “Midnight Summer Jam”—which is fine, since that’s exactly the kind of event where you’d want an over-engineered container for your beers. Warby Parker made a selection of shades for “Wave,” in which Timberlake says he’s wearing “rose-colored glasses.” But then there are things like the 4 oz. stainless steel flask that Best Made Co. created for “Sauce,” a song that isn’t so much about booze as it about the hip hop concept of sauce, meaning swagger or attraction. It also works as a general superlative. Then there’s the yellow notebook Moleskine made for “Say Something,” during which the singer makes the infuriatingly backward suggestion that “sometimes, the greatest way to say something is to say nothing at all.” Do with that what you will.
To call the album’s reviews bad would be an understatement (Pitchfork called it “inert and vacuous”; The New York Times wrote that its “lyrics are cheesy, or simply empty”), but don’t take those out on the gear itself. Below, the best of what’s available from the collaboration—whether it actually has anything to do with being in the woods or not.
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