Monday 14 January 2013

Justin Timberlake - Suit & Tie feat. Jay-Z

It all started with a countdown to a countdown.

"Thursday, January 10th, 2013 at 9:01 am PST..." was the tweet that began it all, leading to a video monologue of JT announcing his return to music. "I'm ready", he declared.

Well Suit & Tie is the first release from the forthcoming album 'The 20/20 Experience', due later this year. As JT wrote in the 'open letter' accompanying the release, he's "gearing up for a big 2013". Suit & Tie is just the beginning.

But was it worth the wait? The hype? The teasing?

This is far from the pop banger many may be expecting. Sitting somewhere between the soulful RnB of 'Justified' (Senorita especially) and the futuristic RnB of Summer Love from 'FutureSex/LoveSounds', this is a smooth, slinky track characterised by glistening harp glissandi, punchy horns and a mid-tempo beat. If anything, it's closest to the funk feel of McDonald's anthem I'm Loving It or Snoop Dogg collaboration Signs (there's even a cheeky nod in the horns melody).

Suit & Tie also sees the return of long time partner Timbaland on production duty. He may have lost his touch in recent years, but here he's back on form. Jay-Z drops in for a guest verse that matches the track's lurching intro, though it's a little unnecessary.

This isn't an immediate pop hit, but a sexy little number that shows JT making the music he wants to make rather than sticking to conformities. Perhaps the best is still yet to come?


Listen: Suit & Tie is available now.