Music superstar Justin Timberlake is back with another funky, danceable hit, Suit & Tie. In a video that brings back the nostalgia of 40’s crooners and a song that resurrects the sounds of seventies R&B, JT brings on a tune that is guaranteed to make feet move. The writing power behind the song includes Timberlake, Timbaland, Jay-Z, J-Roc and Jerome Fauntleroy.
The song contains two distinct elements, Timberlake singing in his signature R&B falsetto and Jay-Z rapping in his own style. Throughout, though, the song maintains a mid-tempo dance rhythm that has the “smooth” of Earth, Wind and Fire and Marvin Gaye.
Suit & Tie marks Timberlake’s return to music after a six year break. In that time, he has made himself into a media giant, through appearances on Saturday Night Live, multiple films and work on other singers’ albums. He marked his return to music with a Twitter tweet, “I think I’M READY” and a short internet video showing him entering a studio. The sound of Suit & Tie not only spans R&B’s different sounds, but also moves through JT’s own sounds, from singer-heavy dance tracks to Jay-Z’s straight up rapping interlude.
As powerful as the music and writing is, the director of the music video, David Fincher, is one of the most important directors of our time. Fincher was nominated for an Academy Award for his films, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network. He also directed the English language version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. He brings this powerful experience to this video through his brilliant camera angles and slick cuts from scene to scene. The video filmed in black and white moves through images worthy of the finest classic noir or Rat Pack movie.
The video starts with JT at the piano playing notes that come out sounding like a synthesizer. After a short intro of “I be on my suit and tie,” Timberlake slides up to an old school steel mic and sings about how great it feels to look good and be well-dressed. Jay-Z’s portions talks about wearing tuxedos for no reason. JT comes back in with a chorus that says it all, “As long as I got my suit and tie, I’ma leave it on the dance floor tonight.” This is an ode to dressing well and bringing class and style to the dance floor and the night.