Justin Bieber – “Change Me” – Single – Label: Island – US Release Date: December 2, 2013
“Girl I’m ready if you’re ready now / oh, as I’m ever gonna be / if you’re with it then I’m with it now / to accept all responsibility…I don’t wanna be the same…” Whoa! For his most recent installment of Music Mondays, Justin Bieber delivers a thoughtful, mostly piano-accompanied ballad entitled “Change Me”. Lacking the sensuality of his pivotal “PYD” featuring R. Kelly and the funkiness of last week’s “Rollercoaster”, Bieber is definitely more moody here and heartbroken for sure. The tempo is slow, matching the drag of Bieber’s own emotions.
A definite pro about “Change Me” is that Bieber shows, perhaps for the first time, his willingness to ‘bend’ within the relationship. It appears to be overdue mind you, but at least it seems Bieber has soul-searched and arrived at that point. This is evidenced by the chorus: “Maybe you could change me / maybe you could change me / maybe you could be the light that opens up my eyes / make all my wrongs right / change me, change me.” That newfound ability to listen and grow is further shown on the second verse, with lyrics like “If I’m screaming, talk quieter / understanding and patient…” or “Be like serenity / help reposition my mind / take a chance, make a difference, in my life.” Say what you will about Bieber, but he’s definitely thinking and aiming deeper than before.
“Change Me” may not possess the same swagger of his two previous offerings, but still Bieber sounds mature and much more ‘grown’ than anything he offered on 2012 studio effort Believe. For once, you feel that at least the ‘bad boy’ is backing up his desire to be a man with more masculine, grown music to match. Another possible takeaway is that Bieber is actually trying to get his act and life sorted out. Maybe that’s reading to much, but the Music Mondays lyrics are his journals correct? Overall, I’m on board.
- Justin Bieber Releases New Song “Change Me” – Listen Now (popnewsint.wordpress.com)
- Justin Bieber Releases New Song “Change Me”–Listen Now! (eonline.com)
- Justin Bieber Is Here With a New Song Called ‘Change Me’ (celebuzz.com)
- Music Monday: Justin Bieber Drops Soulful Ballad “Change Me” (popdust.com)
- Justin Bieber Has a “Bad Day” (Music Mondays) (brentmusicreviews.com)
Justin Bieber⎪ “Roller Coaster” – Single⎪ Island ⎪⎪ US Release Date: November 25, 2013
Is it just me, or did “PYD” possibly light a fire under Justin Bieber’s saggy pants? LOL (I couldn’t resist). For the second week in a row, Bieber impresses with his Music Mondays offering. That should evoke mouths falling agape, really. Sure my new fave jam “PYD” is one hella tough act to follow, but “Roller Coaster” is nothing too shabby by any means. The first ‘groovy’ selection from Music Mondays, “Roller Coaster” brings some funkiness to JB, or should I say ‘swag’. I mean, you actually want to move your body a little to this one folks. Sure, the chorus still finds a moody Bieber at work, but at least it’s memorable: “Roller coaster, roller coaster / spinning all around and around for a while baby / roller coaster, roller coaster / for a minute we were up, but the next we were falling down…” There it is – the ‘sad’ and the ‘glad’ all in one.
That sentiment of sad and glad is present throughout the verses as well; Bieber is still sulking, big time. “Where did they go? / Nights like this don’t happen anymore / I need to know / is it me? And did I lose control?” (Rhetorical JB, rhetorical). On the pre-chorus, Bieber states “Wish I had the key to your heart / people come and go / baby, they don’t know / what we had before / before it fell before our eyes.” And on the second verse, ole boy is “just happy there’s no more fights no more / but it’s nights like this that I never ever missed you more…” Basically, he’s not over Selena Gomez.
Not that we get pleasure out of a pained Bieber (though some of us do), the past two Music Mondays tracks have certainly made me strip some of my criticism of the pop singer. No, I still would rather not be privy to his shirtless-ness or the excessive flashing of the waistband of the boxers, but I do approve of “PYD” and “Roller coaster”. I’ll still roll with “PYD” FTW, but I’m onboard with “Roller Coaster” as well.
- Justin Bieber Rides a “Roller Coaster,” Releases Latest Single (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Hear Justin Bieber Go All New Jack Swing on ‘Roller Coaster’ (b96.cbslocal.com)
- Justin Bieber Releases ‘Roller Coaster’ – About Selena Gomez? (hollywoodlife.com)
- Justin Bieber: ‘Roller Coaster’ Full Song & Lyrics – Listen Now! (justjared.com)
- Justin Bieber Drops “Roller Coaster” This Fine Music Monday (LISTEN) (popdust.com)
Justin Bieber featuring R. Kelly⎪ “PYD” ⎪ Island ⎪⎪ US Release Date: November 18, 2013
Yep, I can’t believe the title myself. Have I lost my mind? Nope, just read on…
Well, Justin Bieber’s thrilling Music Mondays grows its most enthralling with an acronym… “PYD”. What does this “PYD” mean exactly? It means “Put you down.” As Usher would sing, “OMG.” Bieber definitely is not restricting himself to bubblegum savvy pop like “One Time” or “Baby” anymore. Basically, Justin Bieber is going to “do it right” to his boo meaning that three-letter word that Bieber has eschewed but you know is on his mind (and every other red-blooded kid/man his age). Is there anything wrong with it? While it should be worthy of scrutiny what he wants to “do”, it goes with the territory of being young and natural lustful. Lust may be a sin, but who hasn’t committed it? Don’t lie now.
Don’t get me wrong my most hardcore Beliebers, I’m sure Bieber plans to “do right by her” by providing the emotional aspects of the relationship. But y’all know he’s definitely going to “get it in” physically. I mean, he is “put[ting] you down” after all. And if there was any doubt of this, having R. Kelly guest on your track should erase any doubts. I mean, few are more sex-savvy than R. Kelly himself. I mean, do you think Kells is merely talking a bout an innocent kiss when he states “On the roof, balcony, we don’t care who sees / girl I’mma put you down, all the way down, down, down…” More obvious is when Kelly proclaims himself “…your dope man in the bedroom / you can make me your drug babe.”
So, how do I, perhaps Bieber’s most ‘hard to please’ critic feel about “PYD”? As shocking as it may be, this may be my favorite cut I’ve heard in the Music Mondays series. The production is mysterious and epitomizes that alt-soul sound that is currently trendy. Moody, sensual, and certainly a contrasts to Bieber’s past, it’s hard to knock what Bieber is going for here. Even the falsetto sounds a bit better… maybe it’s the inspiration from… yeah, better stop right there.
- Justin Bieber’s ‘PYD’ Requires R. Kelly To ‘Put You Down’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Hear Justin Bieber Team Up with R. Kelly for His New Song ‘PYD’ (1033ampradio.cbslocal.com)
- Hear Justin Bieber Team Up with R. Kelly for His New Song ‘PYD’ (hothits957.cbslocal.com)
- Justin Bieber feat. R. Kelly – PYD (highbrowhiphop.com)
- Justin Bieber Releases Sexed-Up New Song “PYD” Featuring R. Kelly–Listen Now (eonline.com)
- Listen: Justin Bieber “PYD” Feat. R-Kelly (whycauseican.com)
Jhene Aiko’s cool, calm, and collected approach to R&B is quite alluring
Jhene Aiko⎪ Sail Out (EP)⎪ Def Jam ⎪⎪ US Release Date: November 11, 2013
It’s too bad that a certain song named “Beware” from Big Sean’s commercially bombing sophomore album Hall of Fame (ironic title right?) didn’t blow up. Not soley for Big Sean’s sake, but for talented guest vocalist Jhene Aiko, who has seen her stock rising through a couple of collaborative efforts as of late. “Beware” was the big-name single that should’ve sent Jhene Aiko soaring to the next level, but it wasn’t to be. Despite the setbacks, a collaboration with Drake on Nothing Was The Same (“From Time”), certainly presented the R&B/pop singer in an excellent light. It doesn’t hurt that Nothing Was The Same is one of the largest commercial triumphs of 2013. Aiko’s own EP Sail Out finds here cool, but biting brand of R&B surprisingly alluring. She rarely breaks a sweat, but more amazingly, she doesn’t need to.
“The Vapors” comes off almost cold from an initial listen; nonchalant and stoic in tone. A second listen unveils the totality of its magic. Numerous memorable lyrics shine, beginning on the first verse when Aiko sings “You been on my mind / I been tryna let it go / I been tryna find / somethin’ as incredible / as you and I…” Those rather simple, but telling lyrics lead to chorus that’s both suggestive and ‘druggy’ in sentiment: “Can I hit it again? / can I hit it again?” Essentially, Aiko seems to reference getting high off of weed and simply can’t get over the sex with her former flame. Vince Staples expounds upon Aiko’s situation via his rap verse (“Memories fading faded help you not to remember / the trials and tribulations, eyes red from crying / the perfect way to disguise it you was blinded by your fate”). “Vapors” is definitely jam-packed regardless of its apparent simplicity.
“Bed Peace” certainly doesn’t ‘kill the vibe’. As refined as Aiko sounds vocally, she’s unafraid to inject contemporary lyrical swagger (“Gotta get this paper, get this cake up…”). Like on “The Vapors”, Aiko embraces the ‘higher’ side of life with stoner-alluding lyrics like “Wake up, wake up, bake up…let’s get faded / gotta call your job tell ‘em you won’t make it.” Irresponsible it may be, but Aiko’s chill vocals and ad libs float atop the production as if she is smoking blunt after blunt. Childish Gambino is her Vince Staples this time, adding a kind of alt-rap touch. His best moment is when he states “I don’t wanna be around a baby so dumb high / I don’t see the beauty of a momma on inside…” Yet another play on words on another home run for Aiko.
With two triumphs prior, “Stay Ready (What A Life)” doesn’t need to adhere to the mantra of ‘third time’s charm’ – it just continues the brilliance already set forth. Anytime you see Kendrick Lamar as a guest collaborator, you can go ahead and write ‘FIRE’ besides the cut. Indeed, this double-track continues to show the best attributes of Aiko artistically as well as finding Lamar continuing to flex his prodigious rap muscles. Explosive and explicit lyrical moments like “Tell me find your spot with the warning that I might slip / and when you climb on top that’s the ultimate road trip” or “And triple through triplets of babies right now / and that might break the record and no, that don’t mean you’re fertile /that means we’re f*cking reckless, plus we don’t use protection” fit perfectly. Aiko shines with her truisms on change of pace “What A Life”: “I been through some sh*t man / but I be on my sh*t man / I decided / that what you give / is what you’re given…” Guess that’s why she sings “what a life.”
“WTH” certainly takes on Juicy J’s philosophy to “stay trippy”. Over spacey and mysterious production, Jhene Aiko continues to strike a chord with her broken romantic, faded tales. “I am Alice / I’m in the Wonderland,” she proclaims on the first verse, “Where’s the rabbit? / he is late again…” After such a bold allusion to waiting for a man who seems long gone, Aiko both confirms “I might / I might’ve been too high” (playing once more on words) and that “I cannot recognize / what’s the difference / in pretending and / living a real lie?”. Ab-Soul plays right into Jhene’s ‘trap’ on his guest verse: “My what a ride, real trippy sh*t / I glimpse with a squint but I can see a whole grip / my retinas are red, my vision is crystal / didn’t use pencil but it’s true I led…” Lyrically, it’s hard to deny the creativity and cleverness of Sail Out, that’s for sure.
After toying with the ‘lame-o’, on “The Worst”, Aiko finally seems to talk some trash; a woman scorned. The first go-round it’s not so bad for the dude: “And don’t take this personal / but you’re the worst / you know what you’ve done to me / and although it hurts I know / I just can’t keep runnin’ away.” The second time, it’s not so pretty: “Please don’t take this personal / but you ain’t sh*t / and you weren’t special / ‘til I made you so….” Even with all the anger and raw emotions unveiled, Aiko can’t seem to let him go: “I don’t need you / but I want you…” How often does a girl fall for the wrong guy? That’s what makes “The Worst” so relatable. It works similarly for guys getting the wrong girl btw, just for clarity.
Penultimate cut “3:16am” continues on in Aiko fashion, meaning multiple meanings and interpretations from different listeners. Even though the lyrics are open-ended, they remain sound, such as personal favorite “I do not feel the fear of falling / thought I could fly / it didn’t go well but oh well / what do you know.” Closing cut “Comfort In Ending (Freestyle)” is more profound, featuring some of Aiko’s most real, unapologetic lyrics. It is a ‘soap opera’ of sorts. Regretful, Aiko details an affair (“And I should’ve never took you on a boat for your birthday / and I should’ve never f*cked you on a boat on your birthday…”) where ultimately “‘Quis found out and then I had to leave him / ‘cause I couldn’t be the one to hurt him”. Regardless of your opinion of Aiko, she captures your attention and ends the EP with a bang… or several. No pun intended.
All said and done, Jhene Aiko leaves the impression she truly can be R&B’s next great artist. Contemporary and captivating, Aiko doesn’t have to infuse extra grit to sell her points vocally. She can coo and still shine as bright as a beacon. Few can do such without being chastised for their lack of vocal abilities. Sail Out certainly makes me excited for the possibility of Aiko’s forthcoming full length studio album.
“The Vapors”; “Bed Peace”; “Stay Ready (What A Life)”; “Comfort Inn Ending (Freestyle)”
- REVIEW | Jhené Aiko’s Sail Out (auralboy.wordpress.com)
Justin Bieber⎪ “All Bad” – Single ⎪ Island ⎪⎪ US Release Date: November 11, 2013
I’ll say this for Justin Bieber, his Music Mondays singles are growing more and more interesting. Yeah, I know, it’s really difficult to compliment Bieber given his attitude and immature behavior, but I do at least like the concept behind some of his latest music. I haven’t joined the bandwagon, I promise that, but I’ll give kudos where and when their deserved. Don’t get too comfortable JB. My pen and opinions are still hella fiery.
If nothing else, Veteran’s Day single “All Bad” has excellent production working in its favor. Moody contemporary/alt-R&B cues are in play, as is a hard, anchoring beat. The song itself definitely isn’t the most exciting number I’ve ever heard, but I do think Bieber has the right idea by opting for a more R&B-oriented sound. I think part of the reason I’m not sold 100% is because these songs are so indulgent. Sure, I know Bieber is sharing his more personal side (journals, etc.), but even so, one can’t help having reservations. Even as Bieber sings “I ain’t that bad, all bad all bad / I might make you mad / so mad, my bad / no I ain’t all bad”, you have to wonder if he has truly taken ownership for his actions. Even as he defends himself on lines like “Perfect – ain’t saying that I am / proven, at least I’ve proven that I give a damn…”, you wonder if JB really gets it.
Time to once more balance criticism with praise, sorta. Here goes a positive comment, if somewhat backhanded, LOL. Vocally, Bieber makes a sound choice by avoiding his falsetto, which is still an area he needs to develop in vocally. I’m not being completely smart, but there is both objectivity and subjectivity to the previous statement. Keying in on the objective, Bieber’s falsetto lacks the sweetness and flawless execution of more experienced artists like say Justin Timberlake.
So, where does “All Bad” fall ultimately? Well, it’s not “all bad”, LOL. To recap:
PROS: production and overall sound; R&B sensibilities; personal side that contrasts Bieber’s less emotional pop records
CONS: overindulgence by Bieber; the slow tempo and overall vibe sometimes lend themselves to unexcitability; songwriting is merely good, not exceptional
- Justin Bieber Has a “Bad Day” (Music Mondays) (brentmusicreviews.com)
- Justin Bieber Releases ‘All Bad’ – About Selena Gomez? – Listen (hollywoodlife.com)
- Justin Bieber Releases “All Bad” Amidst Battle With Food Poisoning (popdust.com)
- Justin Bieber Get’s Kicked Out Of His Hotel! (lukewilliamsgossip.wordpress.com)
Justin Bieber’s “Bad Day” doesn’t ‘derail’ him too badly…
Justin Bieber⎪ “Bad Day” ⎪Island ⎪⎪ US Release Date: November 4, 2013
Well, Justin Bieber is at it again… He’s had a “Bad Day” this time apparently, per his latest #MusicMondays single. As always, there are pros and cons. Surprisingly, the pros outweigh the cons here, as much as I hate to say that. Don’t call it perfect cause it ain’t, but “Bad Day” has its moments.
“And I didn’t think / it was over, until you walked away / like it was nothing baby”
Let’s start with the pros. I definitely like the more contemporary R&B stylings surrounding Bieber. To me, this sound definitely appeals more than say “All Around the World” or the hella annoying “Beauty and a Beat”. Vocally, Bieber seems to be a match for the urban vibe, though we kinda already knew this when he was 15 and trying to be Usher, right? The vocal runs definitely have progressed, something that really began to become noticeable during his Believe campaign. While I won’t say that Bieber delivers the most emotional performance I’ve ever been privy to, I suppose contextually old boy is singing from his heart. After all, these Music Mondays songs are his journal right?
The cons? I still think Bieber has room to grow vocally, however you shake it. At times, his vocals are still ‘developing’, even though he has definitely expanded his bag of tricks. The runs definitely are the product of his burgeoning vocals, but at times the runs don’t completely have the ‘oomph’ one desires. His falsetto specifically comes over on the thinnish side, particularly towards the end where hitting a ‘home run’ should be the desired product. If you want to be a nitpicker, you might say the lyrics could use a ‘come-up’, as they say in #swag terms. At two-and-a-half minutes, “Bad Day” is a bit brief.
Ultimately, I’ll give Bieber a pass. He doesn’t “knock me off my feet” or anything, but he’s hurting… he’s had a “bad day”.
- Justin Bieber Spotted Leaving Brothel In Brazil (dailyrehashblog.ora.tv)
- Justin Bieber Releases ‘Bad Day’ – About Selena Gomez? – Listen (hollywoodlife.com)
- Justin Bieber’s Security Should Work On Its Whorehouse Extractions (thesuperficial.com)
- Justin Bieber hit with water bottle during concert (today.com)
- Katy Perry is now the most followed user on Twitter, passes Justin Bieber (socialpositives.com)
- Justin Bieber Brothel Shopping Orders Two to Go (guardianlv.com)
“Recovery” atones for last Monday’s less enthralling “Hold Tight”
Justin Bieber⎪“Recovery” (Single)⎪Island Def Jam ⎪⎪ US Release Date: October 28, 2013
So here comes another edition of let’s analyze every career move that today’s most ‘overexposed’ teen-pop star Justin Bieber makes, LOL. It is #MusicMonday after all (well #MusicTuesday since you’re reading this post on a Tuesday if you want to get all technical).
I was not a fan of Justin Bieber’s previous #MusicMonday release, “Hold Tight” – just didn’t do it for me. I was onboard with “All That Matters” (release numero dos) while I was on-the-fence with “Heartbreaker”. “Recovery” is definitely one of the most interesting of the four, keeping in line with adult contemporary R&B sensibilities. I mean, it’s not the second coming (or my definition of the second coming at least), but what I do appreciate is that it sounds more ‘mature’ vocally. Is Bieber growing up? Well now…
Despite deserved praise for showing some artistic maturity, “Recovery” may still be a bit too slow ultimately despite having a solid groove anchoring it. I get that all these songs are from Bieber’s ‘journal’, but still. I mean, I wouldn’t call the song nearly as fun as the big pop cuts we’ve come accustomed to him delivering to his fans. Sure, many of those were easy to ‘hate on’, but it’s also what Bieber’s career was built on. Where would he be without “One Time”, “Baby”, “Boyfriend”, or “As Long As You Love Me”? I do know this one thing though – I do believe Bieber’s opting for contemporary R&B swag on his next studio album.
- Justin Bieber Releases ‘Recovery’ – About Selena Gomez? – Listen (naijaignite.wordpress.com)
- Justin Bieber Tries to Get Over Selena Gomez on New Track ‘Recovery’ (997now.cbslocal.com)
- Justin Bieber samples Craig David on new ‘Music Mondays’ track (nelipottblog.com)
- Listen to Justin Bieber’s New Song, ‘Recovery’ (celebuzz.com)
- Justin Bieber: His World Was Going To End After Selena Gomez Breakup (hollywoodlife.com)
- New Music: Justin Bieber “Recovery” (getmybuzzup.com)
The X-Factor girl group show promise on debut EP
Fifth Harmony⎪ Better Together (EP)⎪Syco / Epic ⎪⎪ US Release Date: October 22, 2013
Face it, the boy/girl group isn’t quite the same as it was at the turn of the millennium. Yes I know, One Direction are doing their thing, but they haven’t attained the same success of say The Backstreet Boys or N*N*Sync. Fifth Harmony is actually a promising prospect in the girl group field, something that hasn’t been 100% really since Destiny’s Child (yes, Danity Kane had a run). Fifth Harmony come by way of X-Factor, a show that has been struggling to back up the entertainment of watching it with some notable Billboard chart numbers. The most successful act from the US version of the show has been one ‘boy band’ by the name of Emblem 3. Still, they aren’t exactly taking the reins over from One Direction number wise (and One Direction has a little bad boy / swag streak going on). But back to the girls, Fifth Harmony seem legit enough on their debut EP Better Together.
“Don’t Wanna Dance Alone” makes a sound initial statement, taking things straight to the dance floor. The production is slick, the vocals are enthusiastic, bright, and bubbly, and the song – specifically the chorus – is catchy. “I got my bet on and I feel like dancing / all night long / nothing’s gonna stop me / you’re what I want / oh baby come and get me, cause I don’t wanna dance alone”. Anything new or innovative? No, but it’s a solid start for sure. “Miss Movin’ On” continues to sound youthful, fresh, and catchy, mixing electro and modern pop sensibilities. Everyone loves a good ‘broken relationship / moving on’ song and that’s just what the quintet offers here. Lyrics like “I’m breaking down, gonna start from scratch / shake it off like an etch-a-sketch…” and “…I jumped the fence to the other side / my whole world was electrified / now I’m no longer afraid / it’s Independence Day” are nothing short of music to the ears. Corny and schmaltzy? Perhaps, but their young and it’s definitely catchy.
“Better Together”, the title track doesn’t suffer from what I pen as the ‘titular bug’ – aka when the title track sucks! Here, the girls sit aside the modern pop for more contemporary R&B fare. This track should appeal to the demographic of Fifth Harmony’s audience who most enjoyed their stunning take on Shontelle’s “Impossible” on X-factor. The chorus is nothing flashy, just simple and repetitive. That said, it suits the gimmicky nature of the genre these days where artists just love their minimalism (“Boy I miss you, said I really do / boy I miss you / now understand that we’re better together…”) Another pro? The form as far as the songwriting structure works soundly.
The final two cuts are less intriguing, but still worthwhile. “Who Are You” benefits from its use of piano, occasional harmonized vocal moments, and the powerful ad libs appearing at the end. Lyrically, the use of the days of the weeks definitely stands out, creating the narrative of the song. Closing cut “Leave My Heart Out of This” quickens the tempo, rivaling the speed of the opener. Unfortunately, it’s less notable but the girls still have something to say: “I tell my heart to just butt out / keep its opinion to itself / I should just listen to my head / cause it’s the one who knows what’s best…” There it is!
Final thoughts? It’s very difficult to be ‘blown away’ by an EP, which is nothing more than a snapshot into what an artist or group’s full length album will sound like, but Fifth Harmony definitely come out of Better Together favorably. They don’t reinvent the wheel or the girl group, but they do deliver that thing call ‘promise.’ Promise is worth something, right?
Favorites: “Don’t Wanna Dance Alone”; “Miss Movin’ On”; “Better Together”
- Album Review: Fifth Harmony – ‘Better Together’ (rawmusicent.com)
- Fifth Harmony Talk About the Elevator, Upcoming “Better Together EP” and Stalking Fans (popwrapped.wordpress.com)
- Fifth Harmony Release “Better Together” EP Today (hispanicbusiness.com)
- Girl groups on the rebound (nydailynews.com)
- EXCLUSIVE! Fifth Harmony Prove They’re Some Talented, Little Miss Movin’ Ons! Watch HERE! (perezhilton.com)
- Fifth Harmony Blows Away The Stage With Their Performance Of Miss Movin’ On (perezhilton.com)
- Fifth Harmony confirmed “Better Together” as next single! (heartbeatmusik.wordpress.com)
Justin Bieber⎪ “Hold Tight” ⎪ Island Def Jam ⎪⎪ US Release Date: October 21, 2013
I’ll try to be nice, but it’s kinda difficult, particularly when there is plenty of room for criticism and scrutinization. Let me say it this way. Is it just me or is Justin Bieber’s Music Mondays starting to sound pretty much the same? (Please say this is a rhetorical question). I actually get that Bieber has love and heartbreak on the mind (it’s a common thinking point) but still! Maybe Ray Charles and Norah Jones said it best when they said “here we go again” on Grammy-winning record of the same title.
“Hold Tight” is the latest love-oriented, contemporary R&B slow jam from the the teen pop star that is supposed to make all his adoring fans swoon (girls of course). While the slick urban sounding production and even some of the vocal ad libs/runs appeal, the cut kinda just sits in the same place for me. Sure, the sound sorta has that Drake quality going on (particularly T-Minus’s production style as it progresses), but for me, I’m still waiting on a less self-indulgent, truly different, and faster number to ‘knock me off my feet.’ “All That Matters” was a bit more appealing to me and maybe equally important it was shorter. This cut just drags on too long.
I’m just NOT that into this one. As Watsky says, “Sorry, NOT sorry.”
The #MusicMondays Hierarchy:
- “All That Matters”
- “Hold Tight”
- “Hold Tight” Confirms That Justin Bieber Has Definitely Been Listening to Drake (popdust.com)
- Justin Bieber Drops New Song, ‘Hold Tight’ (celebuzz.com)
- New Release: Justin Bieber – “Hold Tight”! (dimepiecelifestyle.com)
- Justin Bieber Releases New Track ‘Hold Tight’ (aceshowbiz.com)
- Justin Bieber’s Music Monday Take 2: “All That Matters” (brentmusicreviews.com)
- Is Justin Bieber Inviting Us Over For A Booty Call In ‘Hold Tight’? (buzzworthy.mtv.com)
- Listen: Justin Bieber “Hold Tight” (complex.com)
Bieber’s first ‘Music Mondays’ release is a slow jam
Justin Bieber⎪“Heartbreaker”⎪Island⎪⎪ Single Release Date: October 7, 2013
Is it safe to say that Justin Bieber truly wants to be on the ‘urban’ side of music? I think the aforementioned question is quite the understatement, judging by the company Bieber keeps and his most recent music. On his first single from his new ‘Music Monday’ series (has he been talking to Kanye West who previously did ‘Good music Fridays?), Bieber certainly seems to be more contemporary R&B than dance-pop. The slow jam “Heartbreaker” definitely seems like another step towards a more mature sound, regardless what one opines of the single. Unlike Miley Cyrus though, Bieber eschews shock value… no f-bombs or references to irresponsible partying and most of all, no teddy bears or tongue action. It’s the little victories.
My thoughts on the song? Well, it is soundly produced and the vibe itself is respectable, so there are some lofty pros for sure. It’s certainly more substantive than the desperate, trashy “Lolly”, a track Bieber should’ve definitely dissociated with rather than collaborated. I mean it’s so tasteless… and it’s not about a literal lollipop… I’m not sure that Maejor Ali (formerly Bae Major) and Juicy J are the best company for JB to keep… particularly if his contributions involve rapping and I quote: “Throwing up a G note, like I’m at a casino / I’m all fancy, yeah I’m popping Pellegrino / I’m in the El Camino when I pull up on the scene though / you know I’m a real OG and baby I ain’t from the T.O.” I mean I guess it’s admirable Bieber kept it clean when he probably didn’t want to as if he’d been referencing drinking or smoking, he’d stir more controversy. Just saying!
But alas, this isn’t about “Lolly” but rather “Heartbreaker”. As previously stated, production and vibe are among the strongest points. Also the use of backing vocals and vocal dubs throughout accentuate the cut, so props there. The chorus is simple, but effective ultimately: “Don’t tell me you’re my heartbreaker / hey girl my heart is breakin’…” But with pros there are also cons. While I believe Bieber’s vocals are maturing, I still think there is room for growth and development. I do respect the vocal growth with his deepening pipes, but I don’t think Bieber is completely there yet. While I think the grinding tempo of this cut shows his potential, I also think it exposes some weaknesses. That said, Bieber is still 19, even if he’s trying to live it up as if he’s grown.
Ultimately, “Heartbreaker” is a step in the right direction for the troubled youngster, but I wouldn’t say that it’s incredibly innovative and definitely NOT the ‘second coming’. A victory? Maybe, but I’m interested to see what the next couple of Mondays reveal before making that determination.
- Justin Bieber Kicks Off ‘Music Mondays’ With Debut of ‘Heartbreaker’ (aceshowbiz.com)
- Justin Bieber is a “Heartbreaker,” Releases New Single (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Justin Bieber Kicks Off ‘Music Mondays’ with ‘Heartbreaker’ (rollingstone.com)
- Justin Bieber unveils new single Heartbreaker: I hope it gives some insight into my heart (metro.co.uk)
- Justin Bieber releases ‘Heartbreaker,’ his first #MusicMonday single: Hear it here (music-mix.ew.com)
- Justin Bieber Want To Mend Hearts With New Song ‘Heartbreaker’ (contactmusic.com)
- Justin Bieber Might Be Channeling Usher In His Sexy New Slow Jam, ‘Heartbreaker’ (buzzworthy.mtv.com)