Justin Bieber - Believe
Record Label: Island
Release Date: June 15, 2012
90% of teenagers today listen to Justin Bieber, thumbs up if you’re part of the 10% who listen to the real music like Attack! Attack!
I don’t know where these people are getting their research done but I’d say most teenagers or people in general don’t like Justin Bieber and act as if he is the worst living human being in the world. Why? Because “his music sucks and he sounds/looks like a girl” which obviously means he’s a horrible person. With the follow-up to the highly successful My World, he sets out to make better music and therefore become a better person.
Still taking advantage of what’s popular in today’s music culture but able to incorporate much more elements of popular genres other than the sugary pop we’ve come to expect from him. Also newly legal, the album had the intent of showing a more mature side to the teen icon. Without a doubt, these decisions do not work out completely, the missteps large and unmistakable.
The more obvious attempts at maturity come off as awkward rather than a smooth transition. Perhaps because of the teen pop persona he carries or more likely that he himself just hasn’t reached the level of maturity it takes to create the type of music he tries his hand at. Rap proves mostly a failed effort as he recites the year’s most laughable lyrics in a hushed sexy voice “Swag, swag, swag on you. Chillin at the fire while we eatin fondue”.
But not all of the genre experiments fall flat. While in Beauty and a Beat Bieber struggles to match the frantic dubstep wubs, As Long as You Love Me does a much better job still including electronica elements but placing the focus where it should be; Bieber’s voice.And what a voice it is. While his Christmas album felt like he was still learning to use his newly mature vocal chords, with the help of producers like Darkchild and Mike Posner it will be truly hard to argue that Believe is not beautifully sung.
It’s clear when he is in his comfort zone however, surprisingly leaning towards a more R&B sound. Songs like Catching Feelings, Fall, and Die in Your Arms provide the most memorable moments on the album while you’ll largely forget the pop tunes even if they’re more likely to get stuck in your head. Lulling you with a smooth voice, you may just forget that you’re listening to kid whose voice “made your “ears bleed”.
The unsteady experimental nature of this album in fact works in favor of it, feeling like you’re let in on the journey as Bieber tries to decide exactly what he’ll be doing with the next stage of his career. In the end, Believe feels almost like a promotional CD in the way that you’ll never leave quite satisfied but instead eagerly awaiting the more focused release sure to come soon.