The song: Justin Timberlake isn't wasting any time. After posting a self-consciously artsy video last week that announced Timberlake's return to music, the pop star took just three days to release "Suit & Tie," the first song from his upcoming album The 20/20 Experience. (Listen to the song below.) "I be on my suit and tie shit," chants Timberlake in the poppy dance track's intro. "Suit and Tie" also features a guest verse from Jay-Z, who encourages listeners to embrace a "time for tuxedoes for no reason." Is "Suit and Tie" a triumphant return to music for Timberlake?
The reaction: "The new tune lives up to the hype," says Alyssa Toomey at E! Online. "It's sexy, it's catchy, and Justin's signature swoonworthy vocals are on full display." But is "Suit & Tie" too familiar? With this classic-sounding R&B groove, Timberlake "doesn't seem to be straying too far from the music that made his initial transition to solo stardom so successful," says Aisha Harris at Slate. Still, at least Timberlake wisely eschews the European electro-pop sound that defines the new music of contemporaries like Usher and Britney Spears. Well, "Suit & Tie" "takes us back to '99," says Sam Wolfson at Britain's Guardian. Given Timberlake's long hiatus from music, "it's very serviceable," but it doesn't quite "reach the jaw-dropping heights of some of his slicker singles."