My first exposure to Justin Beiber was when I was in Australia during 2010, at which time he visited Sydney on a promotional tour. Having never heard of him, I just thought he looked like a 14 year old lesbian who had received £300 of River Island vouchers as a Christmas Present . However, his live concert at Sydney Harbour Bridge had to be cancelled due to thousands of teenage girls causing a stampede and crushes. Watching the footage was like being hit round the head with bat made out of estragon and sugar. So I’m thinking ‘WOWZER! THIS GUY MUST BE LIKE ELVIS……X1000’. Yeah, turns out he’s not. In fact, I’m not even sure why this guy isn’t still signing into the bathroom mirror through a hairbrush.
I don’t really understand why he’s popular. I mean, he’s not even good looking ffs. Here is Bieber:
That is not the face of a goodlooking man! Look at the size of his head! You shave his hair and he looks like this:
So how did Bieber get signed in the first place?
In early 2007, when he was twelve, Bieber sang Ne-Yo’s “So Sick” for a local singing competition in Stratford and placed second. Mallette posted a video of the performance on YouTube for their family and friends to see. She continued to upload videos of Bieber singing covers of various R&B songs, and Bieber’s popularity on the site grew.
While searching for videos of a different singer, Scooter Braun, a former marketing executive of So So Def, clicked on one of Bieber’s 2007 videos by accident. Impressed, Braun tracked down the theater Bieber was performing in, located Bieber’s school, and finally contacted Mallette. Mallette was reluctant because of Braun’s Jewish heritage; she remembered praying, “God, I gave him to you. You could send me a Christian man, a Christian label! … you don’t want this Jewish kid to be Justin’s man, do you?” However, after praying with her church elders and receiving their encouragement, she permitted Braun to fly Bieber, then 13, to Atlanta, Georgia, to record demo tapes.
Fantastic, he was accidentally discovered by a record producer after his Christian fundamentalist mother put him on Youtube. If only Black Flag had thought of that! Forget playing house parties to a load of drunk squatters, just get a unhinged parent to put your footage on ‘TEH INTERNETZ’.
Anyway, his 2010 album was named, for some reason, ‘My World 2.0’. This is how it performed:
My World 2.0debuted at number one on theBillboard 200selling 283,000 copies in its first week, at the age of sixteen, the charting made him the youngest solo male act to top the chart since 1963 whenStevie Wonderdid withThe 12 Year Old Genius, and the first artist to occupy two top five spots on the chart sinceNellyin 2004.The album fell to number two in its second week in the U.S. but sales were up 3% to 291,000 totaling at 596,000 at that point.This feat made Bieber the first act sinceThe Beatlesto debut at number one, and sell more the following week. The album came back for a number one spot in its third week of sales with 102,000 copies lifting its total sales to 698,000 copies…….In its ninth week of sales, album sales were up by 2% with another 62,000 copies sold lifting its total sales to approximately 1.04 million copies thus surpassing the one million mark in slightly over two months. The album has continued to stay within the Top 10 ofBillboard 200since its debut with strong sales week in, week out to the extend of preventing new albums from having a high debut.
So he has outperformed Stevie Wonder and The Beatles. Stevie, FUCKING, Wonder. Well let’s give My World 2.0 a spin.
One Time is comprised of that repetitive dance-beat bollocks that makes me feel like I’m stuck in Primark and can’t find the exit. Favourite Girl sounds a bit like a rip-off of the rhythm section of the ‘Keyboard Cat’ meme. Top tip; never take rhythmic cues from a cat made famous by the web.
I should say; this isn’t an attack on pop. I don’t mind pop. I think good pop is fine and serves a purpose. Lady Gaga for example, is good at what she does. Dance tunes for a mass audience. Timberlake as well. Fine. Beiber’s music just sounds like it was made as part of a GCSE music project. I think most of his 1,000,000 album sales were almost solely down to his haircut. If Biebs goes for a French crop at any time, be prepared to see hoards of girls running to HMV in floods of tear brandishing receipts.
Down to Earth and Bigger sound like they were made entirely through samples on a Yamaha keyboard. None of it sounds real, the guitar sounds so artificial. That or he’s using crazy fuck-off pedal that the rest of us never heard of, in which case it would makes Beibsy the second coming of Peter Frampton. I doubt it.
One Less Lonely Girl opens with the lyric ‘There’s gonna be one last lonely girl’ ad naseum, which to me sounds very…rapey.
‘Oi John. I heard that tonight there’s gonna be one last lonely girl’
‘……I’m on it.’
The lyrics were almost certainly not written by the Bieb. ‘How many I told you’s/ and start overs/and shoulders/have you cried on before/’. WHAT? YOU’RE LIKE FOURTEEN! The only thing any of these people are crying about is the fact that Jenny and Sarah wore the same dress as them to own-clothes day at school, or because their mum bought the wrong brand of cereal. He’s talking like he’s been involved in a marriage break-up and he’s worried who’s gonna keep the house.
First Dance features Usher who, after laying down some lyrics and – ahem – PHAT BASS, must have pissed his sides when he heard Bieber spout ‘When I close my eyes……I see you and me at the prom’. Love Me sounds like a rip off of Tinchy Stryder’s ‘Number 1’ (yeah, because NO ONE in America will of heard that! I’m now expecting similar sampling of The Clash, Radiohead and Autechre), then for some reason, he samples the lyrics from The Cardigans’‘Love Fool’. Hold on……..what!?
Baby is the one song that everyone has heard, so I won’t dwell on it long. All I’ll say is this; am I the only one that thinks that the way he say ‘Baby’ sounds like ‘Bieber’? I’m sitting here thinking “Is he that self-obsessed and narcissistic that he has to subliminally slip his name into his hits?”
I realise at this stage that I’m only half way through the album. Christ, this guy churns out hits like they’re going out of fashion. U Smile makes me fucking angry, because it’s the further bludgeoning of the English language by popular culture. Would it have been so hard to call to track ‘YOU SMILE’? Are throngs of girls going to look at the CD and say ‘what? YOU smile? Oh fuck this. I’m not buying some boffs’ record.’?
Most of the rest of the album sounds like someone having a play about on garage-band. Seriously, I’ve heard radio jingles with more artistic merit than this. Overboard opens with a little piano solo. Oooh, are we gonna get a stripped down ballad? Nope, there’s that fucking bass and snare loop all over again. It’s ubiquitous with this album. I recon he just pumps it rounds his house. Every conversation just goes on with a drum-dub on it.
The crescendo on the album is a track called Eenie Meenie, with the chorus line – I shit you not - ‘You can be my eenie, meenie, miney, mo lover’. This guy has smashed records belonging to Stevie Wonder and The Beatles. Just let that sink in.
Clearly the album is a straight up 0/10, I mean there’s nothing redeemable about it. But this is not an attack on a genre. Pop as a genre is alright. People don’t want let their hair down in a provincial night-club to a bit of Trent Reznoir or Mars Volta. Accepted. But it’s just so fucking boring. Endless drum-machine loops (I should add, what is the point of a drum machine? Is it that much affect to just get a session musician to PLAY the DRUMS?), uninspiring lyrics, nothing bass lines and such heavy production devoiding it of any charm whatsoever. It’s just wank. This music isn’t bought because teenager girls feel like his music connects with their soul; it’s because of his top-man dress sense, soft lips and floppy hair-do. This wouldn’t normally be an issue; bubblegum pop is a genre that has always been around, but to see this guy above Stevie Wonder and Beatles in the record books, is a bit, well, shit.
Anyway, for what it’s worth, I’m defiantly going to do something more productive next Saturday. Promise.