The official lyric video for Justin Timberlake’s already released first single “Suit & Tie” has arrived.
In addition, towards the end of the black and white video the date for his highly anticipated new album — The 20/20 Experience — is revealed as March 19.
The release of lyric videos before fuller unveilings seems to be a recent twist on traditional music marketing, see Prince’s just released “Screwdriver” among others.
A drip-feed strategy saw Timberlake drop a “I’m Ready” video on January 10 to announce his comeback. The follow-up was a tweet from the singer on Sunday to a website and three black and white studio photos of him recording 20/20.
Now, after a six year hiatus during which Timberlake explored his thespian side, and recently married Jessica Biel, “Suit & Tie” received a midnight release on January 14.
Featuring Jay-Z, Timberlake’s customary falsetto, horns, scattered beats and an addictive hook, the song debuted on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart at number 14, having received the most first week plays in the chart’s 20 year history, and set a record as the highest debut by a male artist.
So, to the video itself.
Themed in black and white with Timberlake working a tuxedo and fedora amid smoke, a casino, and an overall vintage feel, the singer intentionally evokes Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack allure.
But Michael Jackson gets a salute too. A zoom in shows Timberlake wearing white socks, an incongruous look considering his suit. But the meaning is clear, MJ is never far from his mind. Frankly, it’s a nice touch.
In the “I’m Ready” video Timberlake said:
“What does the next decade mean for me? I’m the one who sits and is obsessive about it before you even get to hear it. As close as I get to it, I don’t know that I could physically torture myself that much year-in and year-out and expect it to fulfill me the way that it does and the way that it is right now. I don’t want to put anything out that I feel like is something I don’t love. You just don’t get that every day. You have to wait for it.”
Now “Suit & Tie” is here. Check out the lyric video below.