Justin Timberlake is the most successful breakout artist of any boy band of the last 20 years. (Before that, it was Ricky Martin of “Menudo”). Remember when Justin Timberlake first released his very first solo album titled “Justified” in 2002, which marked the end of N’SYNC and the boy band phenomenon, with it?
Two solo albums and a string of hits later, Justin further cemented his name as a solo artist and proved that he was indeed more than capable of surviving on his own without the need of the four other guys with him. In fact, his career flourished because of his departure from the boy-band. But in 2008, he layed low and began working from behind the scenes for other artists and ended up serving more often as guest artist for them such as the likes of musician/producer “Timbaland”.
Now, nearly seven years after, word spread of a track being leaked in the internet of his yet-to-be-titled album. After a few weeks of waiting, all the “blanks” were filled in with the name of his upcoming album being ‘The 20/20 Experience’ and the song “Suit & Tie” was chosen to be its lead single. But how is this lead single doing? Is the hype justifiable? And was it well worth the wait for his most loyal of fans? Let’s take a look.
Here is my song review of “Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake.
The start of the song starts out with a nice trumpet section, which shows his fine taste not only in instruments but in everything else that life has to offer. However, as the soon the first verse drops, it is as if the anticipation for this single starts to fizzle away. His choice of words, borderline—on the bland and off-key. For instance, the odd phrase like “going so hot/so hot/like an oven” is almost cheap in its attempt to sound brilliant, if not noteworthy in trying to sound fancy. This really goes back to the time when Justin Timberlake was at that awkward phase of his career in trying to sound like a rapper. It really doesn’t play out here, and maybe he should have left the actual rapping to Jay-Z instead who has a brief but memorable cameo here.
As soon as you get past the first half of the song, the melody does start to pick-up, though, and Justin Timberlake starts to shake off the “rust” and things start to mesh well, as if to say, “Hey, I remember doing this and how fun it is!” That is the feeling I got after listening to the single two more times.
You can almost sense the urgency of Justin doing his best to salvage the song. All in all, a good effort by Justin but it lacks that overall same energy and excitement that Justin Timberlake had in his very first solo release titled: ‘Justified’. Even his second solo album released in 2006 titled “FutureSex/LoveSounds” seems to have fared better than this single.
Usually the best song that the album has to offer will be chosen as the first single for the upcoming album because the lead single would not only set the expectation level of the listener but it would also serve as a “taste test” of what to expect once you listen to the entire album.
I remember when I first heard “Sexy Back”. That was a strong single. It was being played everywhere, and that hit really strengthened his ties with producer “Timbaland”—which partnership still exists to this day. But that was nearly 7 years ago! A lot has changed already since then. At 31 years old, Justin Timberlake is now starting to enter his prime. However, the anticipation for his upcoming album titled: ‘The 20/20 Experience’ does prove the staying power of Justin Timberlake, and how his loyal fan base would always be there for him.
If you are a fan of Justin Timberlake, by all means buy his upcoming album. If you are a fan of Jay-Z, listen to this single just for his brief memorable cameo. But if you are neither, still, take a few listens to this song, and well… make your own ruling. As for me, I have to pass on this one, as I was expecting more out of Justin Timberlake. I think this might just be a case of him being away too long from the music scene which could have resulted in, just maybe, Justin losing a step or two.