I wasn’t particularly impressed with Justin Timberlake’s single, “Suit & Tie.” It’s grown on me due to its soundwave ubiquity, but I just can’t consider it memorable. In fact, I don’t really love anything off of “The 20/20 Experience” except for “Mirrors.” I guess I like music with turbulence – a lot of drama or emotion. “Suit & Tie” is smart, and sharp, and well-pressed, all characteristics that its title evokes. But it’s not really interesting.
Given that JT’s previous album came out in 2006 (yes, it’s been that long. You are in fact getting old), combined with the massive announcement of a global tour with Jay-Z, I expected a lot out of this album. I admit that I am ridiculously fond of Jay-Z, but the entire Justin Timberlake album sounds like background music to me, and that’s what I think it should be, for Jay-Z, on tour. I feel like “Suit & Tie” can get the crowd two-stepping, but Jay-Z can make the crowd BOUNCE.
I did say I like “Mirrors,” and I like it a lot. But I think “Mirrors,” unlike the rest of the album, is built on the foundation that most of Justin Timberlake’s best older music, dating back to N’Sync, is built on. This won’t be a scientific description, but “Mirrors,” to me, is expansive, up-and-down, engaging, rollicking. Not smart, sharp, or well-pressed. It’s a lot more fun. You can’t just step out of the song and come back without having missed something. That’s not the case with “Suit & Tie,” which takes too much attention off of Justin Timberlake’s voice.
So I know Justin is going for elegance, but should we try to pull “Suit & Tie” out of the black-and-white, strait-laced, conservative 1970s scene he’s let mute both his and Jay-Z’s talents? We can keep it in the 1970s, but let’s give it a little flavor, a little soul, a little groove. Here’s a mashup of “Suit & Tie” with “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye. Timberlake loves diverse, percussive beats, but I think distilling the track to just his voice and simpler instrumentals makes the song a lot calmer, a lot more thoughtful, a lot more pure. Plus, who doesn’t like Marvin Gaye?
By the way, Justin Timberlake has announced that he’s following up “The 20/20 Experience” with a new album this September. So hey – if it rocks, I’ll have to apologize in a few months. Looking forward to it!
Download available through SoundCloud.
And hey, we’ll give Daft Punk a shot too.