Courtesy of MCT
It’s clear Justin Timberlake has been busy.
With multiple appearances on “Saturday Night Live,” including collaborations with comedic-rap group The Lonely Island, and starring roles in films such as “Friends with Benefits,” “The Social Network” and “Bad Teacher,” the singer-songwriter turned actor has managed to keep his fans on their toes.
But more than six years without new music? It just doesn’t seem fair.
However, after teasing the world of his musical comeback Thursday with a countdown clock on his website, which ended at about midnight Sunday, fans were given just that.
With his first musical debut since 2006’s “FutureSex/LoveSounds,” Timberlake released “Suit & Tie” featuring Jay-Z Monday, which is slated to be the lead single on his upcoming album “The 20/20 Experience.”
Timberlake told fans the album is due out “this year” in an open letter posted on his website, along with an apology for being such a tease.
“Some people may criticize me for the last three days. But it was fun, right? Right? Besides, I’d rather speak directly to all of you,” he wrote. “And, who can knock me for having a little bit of fun with it? Well … No more teasing. Although, it was a lot of fun.”
And while most fans might not agree that the waiting was indeed “fun,” some might note it was worth it.
“Suit & Tie” at its core is essentially a 21st century version of a ’70s wedding singer track with a retro R&B feel.
The single opens with a sleek, down tempo mix of synths before alternating to a burst of soulful horns and a funky groove.
It’s no “SexyBack” or “My Love” but it’s an impressive track which hones an energetic, confident Rat Pack feel.
Lyrically, “Suit & Tie” pays tribute to the act of dressing “to the nines,” as Jay-Z’s verse throws in brand names with “Tom Ford tuxedos for no reason / AllSaints for my angel / Alexander Wang too.”
Elements of Robin Thicke’s swinging essence are easily heard and it’s apparent Timberlake and collaborator-producer Timbaland, whose real name is Timothy Zachery Mosley, are attempting to play catch-up with R&B’s recent stars, such as Frank Ocean and The Weeknd.
Undoubtedly a recognized effort, nevertheless it’s not the sort of bold, break-out return we were hoping for.
While it probably wasn’t what the world was expecting, between the suave sounds, finger-snapping beats and Timberlake’s falsetto, “Suit & Tie” gives J.T. fanatics everywhere a bubbly tune to lighten the sting of his long hiatus along with a taste of what’s to come in 2013.
But again, we must wait.
“That’s all I’m giving you for now,” Timberlake wrote in the letter. “I know, I know. Again, with the teasing. Get ready. This is going to be fun (well, at least it is for me).”