So any and every time a ‘tween’ artist drops a new single, album, or ANYTHING, the music industry just goes, well berserk. “Die in Your Arms” is no different for the ubiquitous – I mean hugely ubiquitous, now 18-year old Justin Bieber. Beiber’s first single from his upcoming June 19, 2012, album release Believe entitled “Boyfriend” showed a young man eager to escape the ‘confines’ of his squeaky-clean, teen/pre-teen-posited image. In other words, Bieber is trying to escape from being so cheesy, schmaltzy, and ‘innocent.’
Enough events in Bieber momentous 18-year old life have threatened to assassinate that ‘squeaky-clean’ persona. There was his middle finger to the paparazzi, the infamous paternity scandal, his admittance to having had a beer.. etc. Whatever – sounds much like your average teen boy (maybe not the paternity mess), unless you are Bieber. But all chattiness aside, Bieber’s second single “Die In Your Arms” is actually, well GOOD.
The positives first… The production by Rodney Jerkins is nothing short of classic and actually gives Bieber a lift before he sings one note. Additionally, Bieber’s voice has matured considerably since “One Time” or “Baby,” and he sounds less schmaltzy and more pop soul. Most shocking may be that Bieber utters profanity (O.M.G.), albeit sort of softy and almost shyly when he sings, “Loving you is so damn easy to me.” Is that shocking for any other artist or truly earth shattering to most folk? No, but for a teen pop-star that has had to tread ever so lightly, it is a break out, adult moment, not even mentioning ole boy’s references to when a his girl touches him he “dies in her arms” (rolling eyes right now*).
The negatives? Well, as much swag as Bieber has developed, there is still tween awkwardness about “Die in Your Arms.” Casanova he may be, particularly with Selena Gomez, has Bieber truly experienced ‘love’ that makes him wanna die in ‘her’ arms? That and his youth takes a slight bit of the ‘vigor’ away and makes “Die In Your Arms” less ‘swag-tastic.’ That said, to Bieber’s credit, I would easily take his maturity on “Die In Your Arms” and “Boyfriend” (save for that clumsy Buzz Lightyear reference, ewww!!!) over his less developed sound on “Baby.” Honestly, Bieber seems to be heading for a more mature direction, which will definitely be more fully developed on his forthcoming albums beyond Believe.
Do I like it? I’m not going to die in anyone’s arms over it, but it’s kind of catchy. Again, Bieber should be thanking Rodney Jerkins UP and DOWN.