I've been wanting to write something to weigh in on the new Justine Timberlake material for awhile, and I guess I'll take the time to do it now since JT just dropped a brand new video for his Jay-Z collaboration "Suit & Tie", probably the first massive radio hit of the year. But, I don't really listen to the radio, so I don't know. Anyway, I've got nothing but respect for JT.
I remember back when his FutureSex/LoveSounds came out in 2006 I was a senior in high school, and too much of a metalcore/indie kid to admit that I fuckin' loved the song "SexyBack". About three years later I started to realize how awesome pop music can be, and that that was one of the best pop songs that year. A big reason was Timbaland's always, always excellent production. That man has some studio skills that probably every producer is jealous of. But, JT's song and vocal performance was what really made it. It was quite daring. At a time when Chamillionare was dominating radio with a song like "Ridin'", JT, who already had a reputation of being the girly-man, emotional guy from the classic boy band N'Sync, climbs the charts with a song where he basically sounds like a woman and sings about being a sex slave to his girl. But yet, that song is more badass than "Ridin'" because he does it so confidently.
Now, fast-forward to the present and "Suit & Tie". Another example of Timbaland's studio brilliance and now, at a time when most pop songs on the radio sound so "futuristic" with auto-tune and massive synths, he's bringing back that 1950s classiness. In doing so, he's also redefining class in 2013 because this song, his Grammy performance, and especially this video--directed by David Fincher of Social Network and Girl With The Dragon Tattoo fame--are the definition of class. Whatever was classy before has now been replaced by this right here. Watch it below.