Monday, March 22, 2010

ALBUM REVIEW: Justin Bieber's "My World" 2.0

I reviewed the first volume last December, and I was hoping for an improvement. Unfortunately, it seems Justin Bieber's main draw isn't his music or performances—which are pretty lackluster to date—but his personality. The ladies love him. Hopefully, he can rely on that alone until his music gets better.

I wouldn't really recommend purchasing any of the ten tracks on this new album. His best singles have been the ones that run that fine-line of R&B and Pop music. It's when he starts veering into other genres that he disappoints. "Somebody to Love," an upbeat club song that sounds like one of those Euro techno tracks on Z100, is a prime example of that. It's like a 6 on the Bieber-scale of mass appeal. "Stuck in the Moment" is the most poetic and lyrically mature, but the high pitches are a tad too feminine for my taste. The old-school R&B track "Runaway Love," his collaboration with Sean Kingston "Eenie Meenie," the ballad "Up," and the duet "Overboard" with newcomer Jessica Jarrell were all pretty forgettable.

The best song on the album, besides the inescapable "Baby" featuring Ludacris, is "That Should Be Me." It follows the classic jealousy slash begging-for-love template of R&B songs:

The singles that have been released already are "Never Let You Go" and "U Smile." Of the two, I think "Never Let You Go" will be the most popular. It sounds like it's sampling Chris Brown's "Forever," but the heavy base and the romantic lyrics ("Before they outlaw the kiss / Baby give me one last hug") will have girls swooning. Plus, he's already shot a video for it that will be coming out soon. While "U Smile" has the advantage of being very instrumental and has Bieber whipping out his best Michael Jackson impression, I didn't really start liking it until the 1:15 mark:

The song I'd recommend releasing next is actually a bonus track. "Kiss & Tell" has the same vibe as "Baby," a catchy chorus, and a good beat to dance to—what could become Bieber's signature formula until he can find better songwriters and producers. I especially love it though because of what he's basically saying: He wants a girl on the DL who won't publicize their relationship. Already wary of famewhores at 16? Tsk Tsk

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