don't you tell me how i feel.

Suit up! by Steele

JTWelcome back to Justin Timberlake, who maybe decided that sexy was starting to go away again. In general, I would tend to agree.

New single “Suit & Tie” is an interesting choice for announcing a comeback; it’s mellow, and has an aggressively retro, solid-gold soul vibe. On first listen it’s a little boring, but try it a few more times and you realize it’s built largely around showing off JT’s vocal skillz to superb effect. The sound is impeccable: clean, sparkling, warm and perfect. You pick up on every little turn and lilt of his falsetto. It’s pretty genius, really. The lyrics are serviceable enough, particularly the idea of being “on my suit and tie shit,” and even the standard muttering by Timbaland is kind of comforting. You don’t hear stuff like this on the radio right now.

And the more I think about it, I should have expected something like this. “SexyBack” was a way of pushing the boundaries of pop. “SexyBack” is sonically confusing, cluttered and chaotic – at first, it almost doesn’t even sound like music (full disclosure: I despised it before I loved it). JT probably took a look at today’s pop landscape and figured the most radical thing he could do is quiet down a little. Wise move, JT. You are oddly smart about things like this.

Oh, but Jay-Z? You sound sluggish as hell. These days you always do unless you’re battling Kanye. Wake the F up, why don’t you.



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