Six years is a long time for a musician to be absent from the field.
Unless you've reach "legendary" status, making a comeback after such a long period of dormancy is nearly impossible. With that said, Justin Timberlake's last album, FutureSex/ LoveSounds, is one of the greatest R&B albums of the last generation. Perhaps the now married, 31-year-old crooner-turned-actor felt that he didn't need to release any new music after putting out such an incredible album.
But a lot has changed in the world since he left. Things were very different in 2006: Twitter had just got off the ground, the iPhone didn't even exist, the term "swag" hadn't been abused into oblivion, George "Dubya" Bush was still in office, Lindsay Lohan was making seven million dollars a movie, and Lady Gaga wasn't even a thought.
["Suit and Tie"] feels like an attempt to take pop music back to days when class, finesse, style, and dapperness reigned...and I'm okay with that.
Now, EDM has a profound influence on pop music, and hip-hop's mostly dominated by a young, rambunctious crowd. It's a this curious time Justin Timberlake has decided to return to the music world. With much hype circling the release, Timberlake's first single in years, "Suit and Tie", featuring the legendary Jay-Z, feels like an attempt to take pop music back to days when class, finesse, style, and dapperness reigned...and I'm okay with that.
When I first hit play, I was nervous when I heard slowed down introduction of the song. I felt that JT was trying to cash in on the current sound that artists like A$AP Rocky, Kid Cudi, and others have capitalized on over the last few years. But then the song kicked in. Immediately, I felt like I was back in 2005, when artistic producers like the Neptunes and Timbaland dominated the radio with soulful jingles and easy-to-learn hooks. Timberlake's vocal tone sounds a little deeper than what we are used to, but that's to be expected. Dude's getting older, and his voice is sounding more refined.
Producer Timbaland doesn't make any great strides forward production-wise, as he's sort of been on auto pilot the last few years. But there's nothing like this on the radio right now, and perhaps Timberlake knows it.
Featuring brilliant live instrumentation and an infectious chorus, this song was designed for the grown person trying to get their swerve on in the club. While a Jay-Z appearance on anything is almost considered universally cool, I feel like his addition to the song should have been saved for a remix; it's simply not needed.
"Suit and Tie" is a much needed breath of fresh air in mainstream music: an eye opener from a pro displaying that so much pop music on the radio sucks now. There was time, not too long ago, when songs like these were all over the radio and television. With Justin slated to drop his new album, The 20/20 Experience, later this year, it seems that he is aiming to bring back a much needed sense of class to the music business, which we will welcome with open arms.
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