Last week, David Bowie announced his first new music in a decade, posting a new single (underwhelming, but we have faith). Then Beyonce -- already busy with Obama's inaugural preparations and an upcoming Super Bowl halftime show, along with her pending fifth solo album -- dropped news of a new Destiny's Child song, "Nuclear."
Last night, it was JT's turn. While Adele was winning a Golden Globe for her "Skyfall" James Bond theme, Justin Timberlake announced his first new album in six years and posted a new single, "Suit & Tie."
The new album, "The 20/20 Experience," is due later in the year from RCA. It'll be his first since his 2006 smash hit "FutureSex/LoveSounds," which sold 10 million copies.
In the meantime, Timberlake has been acting -- "The Social Network," "In Time," hosting "Saturday Night Live" -- and investing (same would say unwisely) in MySpace.
If "Suit & Tie" is any indication of what the rest of "The 20/20 Experience" will sound like, hindsight is definitely involved. Whatever sexy he had half a decade ago, he's trying to bring back.
But a lot has happened in R&B while JT has been shadowboxing, as it were. With 2012 dominated by the shy sexy of Frank Ocean and the super-sexy of Miguel, not to mention new directions pioneered by Janelle Monae and Emeli Sandé, JT's ol' blue-eyed soul seems a tad formal and stiff in "Suit & Tie."
The new single -- produced and co-written by JT collaborator Timbaland and featuring a phoned-in verse from Beyonce baby daddy Jay-Z -- opens with a slow hip-hop roll before slipping into a light, fluid groove over which Timberlake repeatedly pleas, "Let me show you a few things."
In an open letter to fans, Timberlake says, "The inspiration for this really came out of the blue and to be honest, I didn't expect anything out of it." That's pretty much what "Suit & Tie" sounds like -- a formidable talent getting his groove back, with few expectations for himself much less breaking any new ground. "Suit & Tie" is sooooooo 2005, and we'll have to wait and see if the rest is on big wardrobe malfunction.