After six and a half years of waiting for new Justin Timberlake solo material, “Suit & Tie,” a new single featuring Jay-Z and produced by Timbaland, has been released. “Suit & Tie” previews Timberlake’s forthcoming third album, “The 20/20 Experience,” due out later this year on RCA Records.
“Let me show you a few things about love,” JT croons after the horn-tinged style salute kicks into high gear and Timbaland’s shiny collection of percussion effectively congeals on the track. “Suit & Tie” is a sleek, wholly assured dance number with several start-stop components arranged in a way that’s reminiscent of the first “Justified” single, “Like I Love You.” And like that track, Timberlake’s falsetto is buttressed by a late-game rap verse, this time from Jay-Z, who supports “tuxedoes for no reason,” as we all do.
The track was written by Timberlake, Timbaland, Shawn Carter, Jerome “J-ROC” Harmon and James Flauntleroy, the latter two of whom are longtime collaborators of Timabland’s. “Suit & Tie” was officially released to radio at 12:01 AM on Monday.
In an open letter on his website, Timberlake writes that he “quietly started working” on “The 20/20 Experience” in June.
“The inspiration for this really came out of the blue and to be honest, I didn’t expect anything out of it,” he says. “I just went into the studio and started playing around with some sounds and songs. It was probably the best time I’ve had in my career… Just creating with no rules and/or end goal in mind and really enjoying the process.”
“Suit & Tie” was teased by a video released on Thursday (Jan. 10) in which Timberlake declared that he was “ready” to return to music. “I’m the one that sits and is obsessive about it before you even get to hear it,” he says in the minute-long video. “As close as I get to it, I don’t think I can physically torture myself that much, year in and year out, and expect it to fulfill me the way that it does and the way that it is right now.”
The pop superstar has spent the time between the September 2006 release of his sophomore album “FutureSex/LoveSounds” dabbling in acting, exploring business ventures and appearing on songs by artists like Madonna, Timbaland and Ciara. Late last year, he married actress Jessica Biel in a hush-hush wedding in Italy.
Additional reporting by Marc Schneider.