We weighed in on “Suit & Tie,” Justin Timberlake”s first new song in more than six years, last night. We felt it was a good start and a nice, retro-soundng track.
And you are responding loud and clear as well: the song is on top of the iTunes Songs chart (in part because Timberlake”s label, RCA, is swatting the song down any time it appears on YouTube). The response at radio has been strong with many Clear Channel and CBS-owned stations playing it hourly. Billboard predicts the single could sell as many as 400,000 copies in its first week.
Here”s what some other critics are saying about the song, the first tune from Timberlake”s forthcoming album “The 20/20 Experience.”
The Los Angeles Times” August Brown says: “We”re pleased to report that the results are quite sexy. “Suit & Tie” is a radiant, ramshackle song that’s less of a coherent single and more of a coronation event. It grafts at least three different Timberlake settings — the slow-rolling futurist, crisp-collared soul man and backseat driver to a rap kingpin (here, Jay-Z) — into one strange track that comes off like a best-man wedding toast. It”s rambling and full of awkward transitions; yet occasionally finds its feet and ultimately heralds a joyful event: Justin Timberlake making music again.”
People Magazine”s Chuck Arnold give it a thumbs up: “JT goes for a more retro vibe on this suave single, which previews his much-anticipated third solo album, The 20/20 Experience, due out later this year. With its smooth, horn-kissed lushness, it recalls the ’70s R&B of Marvin Gaye as well as Robin Thicke’s modern-day take on old-school soul.”
PItchfork likes Timberlake, Jay-Z not so much. Writes Stephen M. Deusner: “While not quite as risky as “SexyBack” or as rewarding as “My Love”, “Suit & Tie” is still one hell of a wedding reception jam, as bubbly as champagne. Timbaland creates a smooth beat out of a marimba roll and harp gliassando that Marvin Gaye must have left on the cutting-room floor, and Timberlake rides it with that fluid, effortless falsetto. “Let me show you a few things,” he sings by way of seduction. Because it”s a song called “Suit & Tie”, Jay-Z is on here, delivering the obligatory rapped verse like he’s crashed a wedding. It’s another in a string of uninspired cameos by Hova.”
Billboard”s Jason Lipshutz is Team Timberlake…with reservations: “Suit and Tie” is a good song, but it’s not the artifact from another planet that we’ve been expecting, nor it is the ambitious experiment that Timberlake alludes to when he describes heading into the studio and “just creating with no rules.” Comparing “SexyBack” with “Suit And Tie” makes the latter seem almost impossibly safe: it’s a sumptuous, fairly straightforward love song with forgettable lyrics (“Love is swinging in the air tonight”?), a useless opening 40 seconds and a Jay-Z verse that dutifully penetrates the beat while offering nothing unexpected.”
Rolling Stone”s Dan Hyman says “Suit and Tie,” a horn-addled shuffler likely to inspire many new dance routines, finds JT waxing poetic about his love for dapper duds. “I be on my suit and tie shit/ Can I show you a few things, little baby?” he croons. Jay-Z later joins in with lines about “truffle season,” wearing tuxedos for no reason and the trendy designer Alexander Wang
How do you feel about “Suit & Tie?” Hear it here.