Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Jun 29th, 2012

Justin Bieber: Believe

Justin Bieber
(Island Records)

Buy it at Amazon!

It amazes me that Justin Bieber is a controversial figure in music. He’s so extraordinarily bland that it seems silly for anyone to get worked up over his career. He’s the epitome of innocuous pop music, which is great if you’re into that sort of thing.

His second studio LP, Believe, throws little surprises our way. Its single, “Boyfriend,” is a little more straightforward sexy than some of his earlier stuff, but let’s face it – Justin Bieber is a man now. At 18, he seems more willing to embrace his status as a sex symbol, creepy as it may be for college girls to fantasize about an adolescent. Bieber closes the LP with a nod to the woman who claimed to be the mother of his child, which is the most personal we’ve heard Bieber get on wax. With his newfound swagger, he’s nearly reminiscent of FutureSex/LoveSounds-era Justin Timberlake.

Of course, there’s much more insipid than interesting on this record. The titular track, featuring the lyric “Everything starts from something/But something would be nothing” cuts about as deep as a plastic spoon. But hey, we go to Bob Dylan for profundity. We go to Bieber because he’s fun and catchy and harmless.

As for the production of this record, I’ll ask you to do the following. Close your eyes, and while you do, think back to every pop song you’ve heard in the past ten years. There you go. There is absolutely nothing new being done on Believe.

It’s as harmless and bland as white walls. Bieber fans will go bananas, and Bieber haters will bash it without listening to it. Of course, Bieber fans are (usually) hormonal tween girls who are turned on by his looks and Bieber haters are pissy hormonal tween boys. The music doesn’t actually matter here.

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Justin Bieber: Believe