The Bottom Line
This is not the stunning comeback single many had hoped for, but it is solid work and not a significant disappointment either. Justin Timberlake embraces R&B sounds that date back to 70s classics from Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. "Suit and Tie" is not instantly irresistibly catchy, but it should wear well.
- Deep groove courtesy Timbaland
- Justin Timberlake's confident upper range vocals
- Lack of musical heft
- Lack of a memorable hook
- Written by Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Shawn Carter, Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon, and James Fauntleroy
- Produced by Timbaland
- Released January 2013 by RCA
Guide Review - Justin Timberlake - "Suit and Tie" featuring Jay-Z
Justin Timberlake sings in "Suit and Tie" he wants to, "show you a few things." What we do hear is his familiar falsetto voice singing over deep R&B grooves sounding like he is indeed having fun in the studio. However, many listeners will instantly wish he had delivered something a bit more meaty than this.
Producer Timbaland has delivered a bass heavy groove punctuated frequently by horn section blasts. The mix is not populated with the myriad percussive sounds that animated FutureSex / LoveSounds. Instead it sounds like both may have been spending time listening to Justin Timberlake's own soul heritage as a native of Memphis, Tennessee.
Jay-Z's rapping here doesn't add a lot to the mix other than an additional marquee name. With "Suit and Tie" it is good to hear Justin Timberlake making music again. This is not the arresting return we heard when he dropped "SexyBack" in 2006. However, hopefully, "Suit and Tie" will ease us into the world of his upcoming album The 20/20 Experience with greater riches yet to come. With FutureSex / LoveSounds, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland put down a pop music landmark. The jury remains out on whether they can repeat that feat or even if that is their aim.