By Ralphie Aversa | For Weekender

Ralphie Report: Justin Timberlake is back and already making waves

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Justin Timberlake made his fans wait almost seven years between the release of his third and fourth albums. In 2013, he dropped part one and two of “The 20/20 Experience” before embarking on both a solo world tour and a co-headlining stadium jaunts throughout North America with Jay Z.

He also became a father, as his wife, Jessica Biel, gave birth to son Silas last April.

So after a two-part album, a massive tour and a child, it was reasonable to expect that we wouldn’t be hearing from Timberlake any time soon, especially given his previous hiatus.

But who says the music industry has to be reasonable?

Timberlake returned to the radio airwaves Friday with the release of “Can’t Stop This Feeling!” – an up-tempo, feel-good jam that has “song of the summer” written all over it. The song was literally written by JT along with super-producers Max Martin and Shellback. It serves as the first single from the upcoming soundtrack to the movie, “Trolls.” Timberlake is a voice in the animated film and also takes on the roll of the movie soundtrack’s executive producer. Other stars lending their voice to the film (along with their face to the song’s music video) include Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, James Corden and the duo Icona Pop.

As for Timberlake’s fifth studio album, the pop star has confirmed that it is in the works. An industry source said to possibly look for something in the release-heavy fourth quarter of the year. It seems this time around, the LP is far from a covert-operation: JT has posted photos on his Instagram depicting him in the studio with both Timbaland and Pharrell, two producers he has history with. Timberlake has also been seen on Instagram with members of Little Big Town and on stage at the CMA Awards with breakout star Chris Stapleton.

“Uh, well … take your hard drive with you,” was Justin’s response on my radio show in September of 2013 when I asked him how he prevented “The 20/20 Experience” from leaking. “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” found its way on to music blogs less than an hour before the originally scheduled iTunes release.

“That’s a good question,” he continued before joking, “I don’t know how. I mean, we just threaten people!”

Timberlake’s name and reputation command respect, and that was none-the-more evident in the reverence that radio stations exhibited when promoting and then playing the song. “Can’t Stop” debuted on mainstream pop radio at an astounding 24. At adult pop radio, the song starts off at 19, a personal-high for Timberlake.

If early numbers are any indication, the song will serve as both a solid lead-in for the film, due in theatres November 4, and Timberlake’s TBA LP.

Listen to “Ralphie Tonight” weeknights from 7 p.m. to midnight on 97 BHT.

By Ralphie Aversa | For Weekender

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Listen to “Ralphie Tonight” weeknights from 7 p.m. to midnight on 97 BHT.