Suit & Tie rockets to #1 all over the world

:: The Guardian thought it was well-played but didn’t push the limits in the way Timberlake could have, and perhaps should have: “And perhaps “comfortable” is the key word here – ‘Suit & Tie’ feels like the work of someone luxuriating in the fact they’re making music again and not someone desperate to redefine pop in the face of its recent club-related slump. It’s not a sound-redefining, statement-making, globe-conquering comeback single like ‘SexyBack’ had been, but more of a midway point between Justified‘s ‘Senorita’ and FutureSex/LoveSounds‘ ‘Summer Love.’”

:: While Billboard‘s Jason Lipshutz posted a thoughtful, lengthy review of the song considering its place in the Timberlake canon — which is well worth a read — he also posted a shorter review where he mostly praised the song’s sound: ”‘Suit & Tie’ is a sleek, wholly assured dance number with several start-stop components arranged in a way that’s reminiscent of the first Justified single, ‘Like I Love You.’ And like that track, Timberlake’s falsetto is buttressed by a late-game rap verse, this time from Jay-Z, who supports ‘tuxedoes for no reason,’ as we all do.”

:: The often-contentious The Prophet Blog dissented somewhat, calling the song’s production boundary-testing: “‘Suit & Tie’ twists the classic sound into something much more interesting and inventive. There’s the lethargic intro, the chopped & screwed post-rap breakdown, and all of the subtle production quirks that Timbaland has filled the song with. ‘Suit & Tie’ is, without a shadow of a doubt, a Justin Timberlake record.”

:: Red Eye Chicago criticized Timberlake for not trying something fresher: “My guess is that people are going to be disappointed by the relatively safe approach Timberlake took with his comeback single. I agree. Upon first listen, ‘Suit & Tie’ sounds like it was concepted, recorded, funded, and sponsored by a department store that hasn’t been relevant in a long time. We wanted a grand slam. We got a one-run double.”

:: Vice’s Noisey lauded the song’s jubilance, but criticized Jay-Z’s rap as phoned-in and disappointing: “It makes me feel like I’m driving a purple cadillac through the sky whilst Prince blows bubbles from a party bag. It’s like we’re on the way back from a wedding. A joyous occasion where Justin has married himself and 2013 together. It’s all great. Until Jay-Z turns up to ruin the party.”

:: Pop Culture Platinum agreed that the song was well-made, even if it felt surprisingly casual, writing: “Suit & Tie may not sound like some kind of huge comeback song but it’s sophisticated, infectious and has a sort of lived-in confidence that only a huge star could pull off. Timberlake is effectively taking a look at what’s huge and doing his own thing. Given that his previous material was produced by Timbaland who then went on to enjoy a ubiquity that would see a certain production style seem played out, it’s a smart move.”