ALBUM REVIEW: Justin Bieber’s “Believe” remains firmly in teen pop territory
It’s almost needless to say that most people willing to spend enough time forming a firm opinion on Justin Bieber and his music by now won’t be swayed one way or the other by critical reviews.
However, if the promotional efforts for Bieber’s third full-length album “Believe,” such as the attempt at a flirtatious video and Timberlake-esque aesthetic for first single “Boyfriend”-are any indication, he is certainly trying to convince previously uninterested listeners of having matured in style and sound. Can a case really be made to the non-hardcore fan?
Bieber certainly gets many of the right pieces in place to establish this “mature” image: the production on songs like “All Around the World” and “One Love” are sleek and sound like they will fit in right alongside much of the dance-inspired pop hitting the charts today. The appearance of featured artists such as Ludacris, Big Sean and Drake seem to also be an attempt to maintain credibility with top 40 listeners who view Bieber suspiciously because of his tween icon status.
Ultimately, the tween icon reputation is what “Believe” never quite manages to shake. While the album’s titular track may seek to inspire, the lyrical meat of the effort is dedicated to romancing that has been done before (“Right Here,” “Die In Your Arms”) and that in general comes across as a little too young and shallow. Perhaps the pre-chorus of “Thought Of You” sums up the album’s romantic depth best: “Let’s just live in the moment/Though it’s infatuation/I’m good with that.”
Even some of the featured artists fall victim to shallow lyrical content. Regardless of what one thinks of Nicki Minaj’s music outside of this effort, her collaboration on “Beauty and a Beat” results in the worst lyrics of the album: “Bieber, you know Imma hit ‘em with the ether/Buns out, weiner/ but I gotta keep an eye out for Selen-er”…
A few tracks show hints that Bieber’s vocal ability has matured — parts of “Catching Feelings” and “Be Alright” — but they are quickly overshadowed by continued use of electronic distortion and modification which can become grating fast.
Of course, “Believe” and Bieber have already won in one matter—young “beliebers” will easily eat the new material up as they can easily imagine each song’s tepid lyrics being sung directly to them by the star they swoon over. They will make sure the concerts and whatever further special editions are to come are sold out on arrival.
And hey, being able to please your core fanbase is a positive thing. However, it may take a few more years of maturity before that fanbase can expand beyond the tweens that drive it now.
Artist: Justin Bieber
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Leave a Comment
Like us on Facebook
- Hannah McCalister: I disagree with your statement. This was a great article and…
- Jason: Maybe it's just me, but I've never done anything this shorts…
- : no, this girl is insane. i went to high school with her. she…
- irish8517: While rate my professors is a valuable tool it should be tak…
- michmediaperson: Shapiro is wrong. Isn't RateMyProfessor, the report card st…
• Is your baby graduating CMU? Place a personal greeting and photo in CM Life's Baby Graduates special pages. Download the form here
• Contact local movers in Mount Pleasant to help with all of your moving needs.
• Download Campus Cash Coupons!
• Search for local apartments
• Add your link here