This just in (get it?): Justin Timberlake has not only released a new Timbaland-produced single, "Suit & Tie" featuring Jay-Z, but announced his forthcoming album, The 20/20 Experience, due later this year on RCA Records.
On Thursday, Justin Timberlake kinda-sorta surprised the world by sorta-kinda announcing that his nearly seven-year hiatus from releasing music was coming to an end. Rumors had been flying every which way about his long-awaited, probably Timbaland-produced third album for some time now, but the former 'N Sync singer demurred on the idea publicly until releasing a teaser video on January 10, titled "I'm Ready." Without explicitly stating exactly what he was ready for, Timberlake wound up in a recording booth by the clip's end.
Those who watched the video on JT's homepage were subsequently greeted by a countdown that revealed that something big — a new single, as we all guessed and now know — was coming on Sunday, January 13, 9 p.m. PST. Tweets from the man himself sent on Saturday suggested that after dude's lengthy sabbatical — during which we can only assume he went on an epic Indiana Jones-style journey in order to recover some sort of long-missing musical element and, oh yeah, got married — he is indeed, once again, bringing "sexy" back.
Specifically, he wants to "show you a few things about love." Tweeting "Can't wait. Too Stoked!" Timberland released the song about 10 minutes early. "Suit and Tie" featuring Jay-Z is streaming right now on his aforementioned homepage. The lithe, upbeat track indeed comes courtesy of Timbaland with an assist from Jerome “J-ROC” Harmon. Right out the gate, Timberlake's voice sounds stronger than ever — smoother, more rounded, pretty, mature. While he does his thing over bright rhythms and flowing harp, when Jigga comes in, the beat warps into a purple-dipped dream. "Get out yer seat, Hov!" shouts JT. We're right there with Jay. This is Justin all growsed up, and it sounds sweet indeed.
Click here to listen (alternately, iTunes or Myspace) and it's at the top of this page, too. Along with the song, Timberlake shared an open letter to his fans in which he revealed the title of his forthcoming 2013 album.
An Open Letter to you (the fans):
I hope this gets to you the right way. It's the only way I know to do it. Some people may criticize me for the last 3 days. But it was fun, right?? Right?!?! Besides, I'd rather speak directly to all of you. And, who can knock me for having a little bit of fun with it?
Well... No more teasing. Although, it was A LOT of fun. (Did I mention that I'm having fun with this?? Ha!)
*Makes a serious face*
So, here goes:
This year is an exciting one for me. As you probably have heard through the "grapevine," I'm gearing up for a big 2013.
Back in June of last year, I quietly started working on what is now, my next journey with that thing I love called MUSIC.
The inspiration for this really came out of the blue and to be honest, I didn't expect anything out of it. I just went into the studio and started playing around with some sounds and songs. It was probably the best time I've had in my career... Just creating with no rules and/or end goal in mind and really enjoying the process.
What I came up with is something I couldn't be more excited about! It is full of inspiration that I grew up listening to and some newfound muses that I've discovered along the way.
I'm calling it "The 20/20 Experience," and it's coming out this year.
I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it.
That's all I'm giving you for now... I know, I know! Again, with the teasing!!!
Get ready. This is going to be fun (well, at least it is for me).