Justin Timberlake And Destiny’s Child Are Back … Is That It?

We take a look at the very minor comebacks of two very major stars, in Bigger Than The Sound.

It seems odd to use the word “minor” to describe anything involving Justin Timberlake or Destiny’s Child (except for “The Love Guru” … that was a very minor comedy), and yet, there seems no better adjective available for their respective returns — “Suit & Tie” and “Nuclear” — both of which are decidedly dinky things.

That’s not a slight against either song, mind you … sonically, they’re both rather fascinating, each putting unique updates on ’90s R&B, all slinky synths and icicle-sharp beats. The HOV-enhanced “Suit & Tie” is probably the more adventurous of the two, cramming together something like three different tunes into five minutes, and it’s a delightfully unhinged, all-over-the-place thing. “Nuclear” is a sensuous, glacial tune, one that seems less like a Destiny’s song and more like something out of Solange’s songbook, yet its restraint is also what makes it stand out.

So, when I refer to either of them as “minor,” it’s not a criticism; it’s just odd to see two of the biggest pop acts of the past decade display such levels of reserve. And not just musically, either; there was a time when a new JT or Destiny’s single would have been preceded by no shortage of fanfare … there would have been commercial tie-ins, reams of press releases and more trailers than the next chapter in the “Transformers” series. And yet, none of that really happened this time around. Over the course of 72 hours, we got just one teaser clip from Timberlake and, well, that was pretty much it. Beyonce and Co. simply announced a new greatest hits album, then promptly dropped their first single in eight years (on Mashable of all places) and Justin completed a countdown clock then released “Suit & Tie” on his official site.

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