The Justin Timberlake fan club has never really expired, even when music took a backseat to his other aspirations. As a secret member of said fan club, I waited patiently for the hiatus to be over. After six long years of silence, however, the announcement of a new album and the release of “Suit & Tie” was enough to satisfy.
Unfortunately, the prospect of new music was more exciting than the actual music. I’ve always been impressed by Timberlake’s ability to take a generic genre like pop and add some flair. But, “Suit & Tie” might not have been the correct song to reestablish Timberlake’s position.
The song starts off well enough. A group of trumpets at the beginning sound pleasant and add to Timberlake’s use of finer instruments. But that introduction is short lived, and a weird chant of “I be on my suit and tied/ suit and tied/can I show you a few things/ a few things” takes precedent. There’s hardly any rhythm, just a few snaps here and there, and the song becomes awkward and a little silly. Eventually it picks up, adding some substance and a melody. The good thing about this part is it’s in typical Timberlake fashion. It’s kind of catchy and the lyrics aren’t hard to keep up with, even if they are a little cheap. But he’s singing of love and passion, two themes he usually focuses on.
But, similar aspects cause this song’s slight downfall. His use of simple language and odd examples like, “going so hot/so hot/like an oven” are hard to take seriously or even relate to. The actual music never alters either, so the melody gets lost in a haze of sameness and dullness. Nothing exciting ever really occurs.
There is a cameo rap by Jay-Z that had promise but it falls short of being anything spectacular. Even with lines like, “years of distress/tears on the dress/ trying to hide her face/ with some makeup sex” it remains mediocre.
I’m sure this is the kind of song that’ll eventually grow on people. There’s an element of enjoyment I’m sure people will get out of its charm. But, Timberlake’s initiation back to the throne shouldn’t occur just yet. This song falls short of a proper comeback, and our expectations.