Just a few months ago, we weren’t ready to let go of the maturing Justin Bieber‘s shaggy locks and high-pitched vocal admirability. Now it seems there’s no turning back. It’s time to accept the swagged-out superstar for the grown-up superstar that he is. You won’t even believe your ears when the child pauses for dubstep interludes.
Believe, out today, comes to us as Bieber’s fourth studio album, and adds another notch in the young and admittedly adorable phenomenon’s recorded timeline. This process has shown all of America his evolution in more ways than one: as an artist, a newfound prolific songwriter, a heart-throbbing style icon, a vocalist and of course as an individual.
“Boyfriend” was our first glimpse of this just a few months ago. Steam, hormones and men’s body spray could be sniffed from miles away as the new anthem charmed from a different angle. We’re forced to accept that nowadays, lyrics like “You smile, I smile” are replaced by “tonight I wanna feel your body rock” in the Nicki Minaj thriller “Beauty And A Beat.” Just… take it for what it is.
Don’t dismiss Believe just yet, though. Mega DJ Diplo’s veil over Bieber’s angelic tone may be audible, but some tracks take us back to the “One Time” singer’s greatest early successes. Maintaining the old tween fanbase must’ve been at the back of producers’ minds (we’re looking at you, Mike Posner).
In my head we’re already together
I’m cool alone, but with you I’m better
The album’s most lightweight lines are dropped soon after:
Could there be a possibility
I’m trying to say what’s up
Cause I’m made for you, and you for me
Baby now it’s time for us
Swooping in to save the day is the unbelievably handsomely and exuberantly charming “Die In Your Arms.” We raved about it recently, and the hype it garnered for Believe was just as strong as the song in context adds to the album more greatly. It was clever to sample “We’ve Got A Good Thing Going” from comparable young Michael Jackson‘s Ben in order to round off a wholly incredible second single.
Much of the tiresome album is as humorous as the line Nicki Minaj spits out in an outright announcement of Bieber’s semi-secretive relationship with fellow tween star Selena Gomez:
World tour, it’s mine, ten little letters, on a big sign
Justin Bieber, you know Imma hit ’em with the ether
Buns out, weiner, but I gotta keep my eye out for Selen[er]
Perhaps “Thought Of You” is the right balance of beat-driven and high-pitched comfortable Justin. It’s just so difficult to like the thick curiosity of JB’s new experment, as much as our conscience may give in to the darkly catchy awe of “As Long As You Love Me” and “All Around The World.” Though the cheesy title track aims to redeem any chance of clearing up Justin Bieber’s fogged-up mirror of an image, this thank-you to fans might not be enough. The difference between songs like this and Drake half-raps is under-compensated.
Do you agree? Leave your sympathetic agreement or Bieberiffic backlash in the comments below.