Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience

Justin Timberlake: Bringing Sexy Baggage Back, ‘Suit & Tie’ [Video]

Following the Grammy’s very public ushering of Justin Timberlake back into position as one of the most charismatic, talented, male artists in the game, the official video for “Suit & Tie” has arrived.

Helmed by David Fincher — who started out in pop videos before graduating to features, and directed Timberlake in The Social Network — the result is 5.30 minutes of catchy, nuance loaded, R&B pop brilliance.

At the heart of the monochrome elegance on offer, the singer broods, gets a massage, makes a set entrance on a four-poster bed, plays chess with a half-naked dancer, eats cereal with guest Jay-Z, hits up a speakeasy, before dancing up a black and white storm in the last seconds in what can only be described as pure MJ [à la “Leave me Alone” and “Black and White.”]

More on the black and white theme. It’s working. It’s amazing how pleasurable it is to get away from the ‘unbearable LMFAO colorfulness of being’ and swim in the shadows and sex of “Suit & Tie.”

Unsurprisingly, the video and entire feel of Timberlake’s musical return ties in with themes of his recent interviews. Describing the process of working with producer and longtime collaborator Timbaland as creating a “sonic palette,” the singer recalls a friend dubbing his new album The 20/20 Experience as “music you can see.”

The meta narrative of “Suit & Tie,” then, all scrunched beats, familiar falsetto, and lush vintage visuals, is Timberlake’s maturation. Yes, he’s returned to the top table of R&B/Pop — but not as he left it.

Justin Timberlake In "Suit & Tie" Video