Justin Timberlake - "Suit & Tie"

After teasing it out, in various different forms, for the better part of a week, Justin Timberlake has just announced his first new album since 2006′s ridiculously good FutureSex/LoveSounds. In an open letter on his website, Timblerlake writes that he started work on the new LP last summer, that it’s called The 20/20 Experience, and that it’ll be out later this year. He’s also dropped the first single from the LP, “Suit & Tie.” It’s a lush party song with production from JT’s old collaborator Timbaland and a guest verse from Jay-Z. But it’s not the warped sci-fi synth-funk of his last album. Instead, it’s slick and aspirational dancefloor R&B that sounds like Timberlake’s nod toward the godawful-boring mid-2000s grown-and-sexy moment. The dead of winter is a weird time to be hearing a song like this for the first time, and that could be warping my perception, but I have to say: Not great! Hear the song and read the open letter at justintimberlake.com.

The “Suit & Tie” single is out now at iTunes.

Comments (98)
  1. after waiting 7 years and the promise of a timberland beat and jay-z cameo, we got a Bee Gee’s B-side.

    • edit – timbaland

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      • (un)fortunately I’m not that well entrenched in Bee Gee’s music outside the 5 hits to even know a deep album cut, let alone a B-Side. It was more a reference to the schmaltz’ness of the tune and the fact that JT used to do an Andy Gibb impression on SNL.

        • some think that they are cheesy disco momcore like phil collins or some shit with a handful of SNF OST hits… maybe they are right and Bee Gees are uncool but I don’t care because the songs are actually good.

          Bee Gees’ 1st and Odessa are on par with every acclaimed baroque/sunshine pop record of that time.

        • “5 hits”?

          1. “How Deep Is Your Love” – (1977) – No. 1 (for 3 weeks)
          2. “Night Fever” – (1978) – No. 1 (8 weeks)
          3. “Stayin’ Alive” – (1978) – No. 1 (4 weeks)
          4. “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” – (1971) – No. 1 (4 weeks)
          5. “Jive Talkin’” – (1975) – No. 1 (2 weeks)
          6. “Too Much Heaven” – (1979) – No. 1 (2 weeks)
          7. “Love So Right” – (1976) – No. 3
          8. “You Should Be Dancing” – (1976) – No. 1 (1 week)
          9. “Tragedy” – (1979) – No. 1 (two weeks)
          10. “Love You Inside Out” – (1979) – No. 1 (1 week)
          11. “Lonely Days” – (1971) – No. 3
          12. “Nights on Broadway” – (1975) – No. 7
          13. “I’ve Gotta Get a Message To You” – (1968) – No. 8
          14. “I Started a Joke” – (1969) – No. 6
          15. “One” – (1989) – No. 7
          16. “Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)” – (1976) – No. 12
          17. “Boogie Child” – (1977) – No. 12
          18. “Words” – (1968) – No. 15
          19. “Run to Me” – (1972) – No. 16
          20. “(The Lights Went Out In) Massachusetts” – (1967) – No. 11

          …and that’s not even counting “To Love Somebody” as well as HUGE hits they wrote for others (“Grease”, “Islands in the Stream”, “More Than a Woman”, “Guilty”, “A Woman In Love”, “Heartbreaker”, “Emotions”, “If I Can’t Have You”, “Love is Thicker Than Water”,”I Just Want To Be Your Everything”, “Shadow Dancing”, etc etc etc)

    • Well, Justin WAS on the Barry Gibb talk show…

  2. Everywhere I turn, people are ragging on this track. I dunno why. It gets me moving, it’s catchy enough, Jay’s verse isn’t great but all in all I’m really digging this thing.

  3. I’m with all the negative criticism on this one — My first impression is that it sounds very well-produced yet tame and not so dangerous, much like the breezy, soulful R&B pop on R. Kelly’s last album. I expect his bias devotees will eat it up regardless, much like last week’s Bowie return.

    The good news: There was a lot of buzz going around that Timberlake might somehow squeak a Coachella headlining appearance out of this, but if this is the direction he’s going on the next album, I don’t think they’d invite a less futuristic version of him to the polo fields.

  4. So this and Lysandre suck but Future’s lastest track is awesome?!? I feel like I’m in some parallel Stereogum universe.

  5. I actually really like this track

  6. Really feeling the vibe; it’s fun (like his website claimed). And I’m thrilled that he has not fallen into any current radio trends with the sound. That’s why it’s fresh.

  7. Lance Bass was the real talent in N’sync.

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  9. While people always complain that Timberlake’s only released two (soon to be three) albums in the past decade, the real tragedy is that we’re still waiting on Chris Kirkpatrick’s debut album. It’s the Detox of the N’Sync universe.

  10. I dig it. It’s not, like, transcending anything, but it’s catchy and fun. Timberlake set himself up for criticism after 6+ years of silence, though. Too much expectation/hype.

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  13. at least it’s better than carry out

  14. pick justin timberlake’s best 10 songs.

    • What a good idea! My 10 favourite Justin Timberlake songs are:

      1. SexyBack
      2. Cry Me a River
      3. My Love
      4. Senorita
      5. (Another Song) All Over Again
      6. Boutique in Heaven
      7. Last Night
      8. Rock Your Body
      9. Like I Love You
      10. Suit & Tie

      And maybe 11. Dick in a Box

  15. Give me a break, haters. If this were Jamie Lidell or “Kanye feat. Justin Timberlake” you sheep would be eating it up. Don’t come into this expecting it to some groundbreaking indie jam, IT’S JUSTIN-FUCKIN’-TIMBERLAKE! If you actually enjoyed his music before and weren’t pretending to please the hipster crowd that swarmed over his last album, there shouldn’t be any problem with this thing. It’s a solid, fun-as-hell jam. Get over yourselves.

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  17. It’s dad-pop (dad&B?), with a bit of dad-rap in there.

  18. Wow, this one certainly brought out the fringe. It doesn’t blow me away or anything, but this song serves its purpose. Maybe if JT made more music, Chris Brown wouldn’t be as relevant. That’s something we can all hope for.

  19. I understand if people were expecting something more dancable maybe, but everything about this song is pretty great. The beat sounds like early 00s Outkast and the melody has a super classic disco-pop sound …what am I missing?

    • I’m with you. I don’t understand the hate. Sure, Jay Z’s verse isn’t anything special…But let’s be honest…when was the last time he had a “special” verse, really? I like him, he’s just not as great as he once was. Solid track though.

  20. I actually kinda love the thing, pretty catchy.

  21. This is a fun song. I don’t care for Jay-Z’s verse, nothing spectacular.

    But JT is having fun. It’s a fun song. The production is clean as all hell. I don’t think it’s better than most songs on “FutureSex/Lovesounds”

    But it’s FUN! Jesus we have some grumpy ass commenters.

    • Thank you. I don’t understand what the hate is for. Somebody who thoroughly enjoyed futuresex please explain to me what’s wrong with this track? It’s “manufactured and commercial” – well yeah, so was everything on futuresex/lovesounds. Big deal. Those songs were also catchy, inventive and fun, as is this one. I love hip hop but Jay Z has never been my taste. This is par for the course for a Jay Z verse at this point, and he gets a pass because this song is not trying to be anything more than what it is.


    • yeah, a fun song. People are expecting it to feel like a song that he’s worked on over his whole break from singing, but it’s not like he’s been working endlessly in the studio like Axl Rose supposedly was before Chinese Democracy. Actually, he’s been busy with everything but music.

  22. This is awful. And you’re awful if you like it. And if you don’t like it? Well you’re still awful. Also, something about Pitchfork and lemmings/dirty unwashed non-Bee Gee loving masses.

  23. Jay-Z is mind crushingly dull. He has a daughter though!

    And that just rhymed I know, realized that so’t shall grow.

  24. It’s no Senorita, but it’s a start. Still looking forward to the new album and the production is slick as hell.

  25. Glad to see the positive comments have started winning out since I first looked at the article. Really don’t get the hate from some people, I find it hard to believe people who liked Futuresex/Lovesounds won’t like this. Love the beat, would love to hear a rapper really go for it over this (Curren$y?).

  26. This is more about Timbaland than Justin, but I’m psyched for more.

  27. I find it boring. It just does nothing for me.

  28. Laying in bed in the middle of night after some ‘me time’ is a weird time to be hearing a song like this for the first time, and that could be warping my perception, but I have to say: great!

  29. Who’s ready to own up to digging the Timbaland / Chris Cornell collab?

  30. I think it’s a good song, it’s just not a terribly original or groundbreaking song. Been done before, even though it’s being done well here.

    • Kinda like down votes.

      • Why must everything be original and groundbreaking? Something all you want is a fun, no-nonsense pop song that’s done really well. And this satisfies that need. If it’s not your type of music that’s one thing, but hating on it because it’s not telling the future or curing cancer is such hipster bullshit. (Keep in mind, I’m not aiming hate at you, just making a point in response to yours.)

        • *sometimes

        • Thank you for clarifying, because I wasn’t hating at all. In fact, at one of the other places I frequent online I was actually doing a good bit of JT defending. Other than N’Sync, which was when he was an impressionable youth living life as part of the Disney/Boy Band machine, I take no umbrage with the guy. I’ve liked a majority of what he’s done well enough.

          No music is REQUIRED to be groundbreaking. In fact, most of it isn’t. I just think in this particular case a lot of people were expecting something more from his first new song after the long break. Particularly when you consider that his last album was pretty much quality front to back, with a couple of seriously memorable tracks included. For me, that’s what “groundbreaking” meant.

  31. Lounge music. Like.


  33. I was SO excited when I heard JT was coming back to music. I mean, I dont think its an overstatement to call Future Sex/Love Sounds a classic. Then this song came out and I just didnt know what to think. I wanted to love it so back because it Justin Fucking Timberlake and do you know HOW LONG ive waited for this moment? But after some listens I can confidently say this:


    Did you actually listen to “Channel Orange” “Kaleidescope Dream” or “True”??


    • I think he recorded these songs before those albums came out. Bad timing?

    • Really? I loved Channel Orange as much as the next guy (which was every guy), but this is just as fun as anything on that to me. In fact I think Frank could use a little more dance in his jams. Lyrically its a little more superficial maybe, but that doesn’t bother me much.
      Besides, this is one song. I think its safe to say it will be impossible to judge how “hard” he tried until we hear the whole thing.

      • Uh oh… I should’ve thought twice before even remotely suggesting anything could come close to the majesty of the almighty Frank Ocean. Here come the down votes…

  34. im afraid to click on this link for paisty jenny. i kind of want to know what #3 most added fmqb-ac means. should i do it? i like acronyms. i wonder if its something canadian? the fact that their advertising being third makes me really want to see this. i shouldnt…but they look amazing. im going to do it. if im not back in half an hour you have to promise you will come find me.

  35. Love JT but this track was a major let down … its smooth and has some merit ofcourse, but for a new release it sounds dated and not in a cool retro way, and is way too long! Every part of a song should have purpose like words in a novel… no point in dragging it out at all! The intro as well, wasn’t a fan. Just saying I appreciate the song, and the artist and its certainly not bad but I hoped for more.

  36. Kinda dissapointed Beyonce wasn’t on this song like it was hinted at. Definiely would’ve been better than Jay-Z.

  37. I’m just sad this lemming isn’t allowed to have fun :/

    First they come for my assault rifle, then they came for my ability to like suit and tie.

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