Likes: Boyfriend, Right Here, Catching Feelings, She Don’t Like the Lights, Maria,
Dislikes: All Around the World, Beauty and the Beat, One Love
Overall: Enjoyable pop album.
There are negatives to Justin Bieber’s new album, “Believe.” The lyrics are largely uncomplicated, as is the production on the sprinkled throughout techno-dance tracks (ex. Thought of You, Beauty and the Beat), and Bieber’s voice is still quite boyish, limited and unmoving (because he’s freshly 18, I’ll let him slide with the boyishness this time, but I’ll be looking for a stronger vocal in a few years). However, there are enough positives to where you might have to admit to having a few Bieber songs on your IPod. The material, although mostly simplistic, has an embraceable and endearing sweetness. For example, on “Fall,” Bieber croons ‘He fell in love for his best friend…she was already broken, and it made her blind…she could never believe that love would ever treat her right…but did you know that I love you? (“Fall” is also one of the few songs with more developed subject matter)’ For those wondering if the teen would get his “Billie Jean” on and address last year’s paternity accusations by Mariah Yeater, check out “Maria.” Outside of the dance songs, the music production is pleasantly surprising as it pulls from unexpected influences, like 90’s R&B (ex. “Right Here”) and 60’s soul (i.e. “Die in Your Arms). Other tracks are smooth and melodic; there might be a little overuse of acoustic guitar, but it isn’t bothersome. All in all, “Believe” might not turn you into a Belieber (the name for hardcore Bieber fans), but it may get your attention. I’ll definitely will be looking for the next album to see how Bieber progresses.