First of all, I feel like since this is the internet, I have to state something obvious so people don’t respond with obvious (and stupid) comments: this is not a scientific or academic article. Then yes, this IS MY opinion. And yes, I’m a Justin Bieber fan (since 2009, if numbers are important to you).
Also, since most Bieber fans don’t like reading long texts, I’ll try to keep it short. Let me start with Justin’s new video. I think this is probably his cheapest non-concert-footage video he’s ever recorded. But since it was Colin Tilley, whom I respect as a director so much - and whom I’ve been waiting for Justin to work with him again - I expected a little more. I asked my american friend what did “racy” mean because I was reading a lot of reports about Justin’s new “racy” video - and I couldn’t find a better word for it. It is indeed hot, but it isn’t at all classy. Do you know what’s classy? Go watch Beyoncé’s “Dance For You” - a very simple video, with probably the same budget for production as Bieber team had for theirs, but there is something they can’t buy: Bey’s star quality factor.
This brings me to my second point that I’ve been dying to discuss because it bothers me very much. Justin Bieber is an artist. He is a singer. He is - as himself puts it - an entertainer. He isn’t though the best singer so, for me, I feel like he’s obligated to deliver it. Like, really deliver it. Chris Brown playbacks almost all the time, but when he dances - man, he delivers it. You almost don’t even care they used the same track that’s on his album (would it cost to record a live version?) because you’re so entertained with his performance overall. On that matter, I think Justin needs to improve his star quality. And that means, first of all, to pull his fucking pants up, put on a shirt, AND STAND STRAIGHT. You have to understand you’re not a rapper - and you said it yourself that you rap for fun, so don’t try to convince me with this argument. Also, don’t try “oh, sorry, it’s just who I am”. I couldn’t give a shit about who you really are (actually I do, but for the person that’s watching, they wouldn’t), you are A PERFORMER. Therefore, you have to PERFORM. You have to put on a persona that doesn’t necessarily signifies who you really are.
I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. If you want to be a thug, go ahead. But once you’re on stage, you can’t act like you’re a rapper when you’re not. Do you like R&B, right? See Usher, Miguel, Ne-Yo. They’re two times you’re age and I believe you took your fucking shirt off more times than all of them - together. I know you want to grow up, but this doesn’t mean you have to be sexual. You can grow up being sexy - this is tumblr, girls here like men on texudos as much as they like them shirtless. And with your shirt on, you actually have a shot at winning people’s respect. Which leads to my next point: please, show some damn respect. I won’t even talk about the rumours and shit, but there’s one thing you can’t deny: your lateness. This is one of the things you NEED to care since you’re an artist. You complain about haters being disrespectful and yet you show up late to - maybe - every single concert on your last tour, how is that fair to your FANS? They pay for very expensive tickets to see you, you can’t do that to them. Also, I know you’re very worried that people judge you for every move you make, but when you’re performing on tour - it is just you and them, your fans. Stop for a minute. Try and talk to them (even if they don’t speak english, you’ll feel their energy from the screamings). I know 100+ shows for a little more than a year is very tiring, but they’ve been waiting for that for a LONG time. Just to see a glimpse of you. They want to support you. But you need to show directly to them - and not behing a computer - that you do care.
Okay, that’s it for the personal part. Now I’m gonna talk about - again - MY view on Justin’s “Music Mondays” series. Let me just say that I do like R&B. But still, all the R&B artists that I like are also POP artists. I’ll get back to that in a bit. To me, I would describe this series as “lazy” - especially for the production. You have songs like “PYD” (to which I expected to be something like “Same Girl”, but that’s fine), that it just doesn’t go anywhere. It’s like you’re about to have sex but you never go pass the foreplays. I feel the same way about “Heartbreaker”, a song that - again, IN MY OPINION - has a very bad production. Justin’s vocals are terrible, and they wouldn’t bother to clean them up - it just seems amateur. The same thing happens in “Hold Tight” - which is growing on me now - but it just sounds like an album filler. It doesn’t go anywhere. I won’t even talk about “Bad Day” because - I’m sorry but - I didn’t even buy it. A song without a chorus doesn’t exist for me. It is something like a soundtrack.
I like “Recovery“‘s groove but, again, Justin vocals are careless. I’m sure it’s not his fault, maybe Kuk Harrell (who worked with him on his last albums) could help - a lot. I love “All Bad”, because it reminded me of Ne-yo’s ballads, and that’s a point Bieber for me. I think “All That Matters” has a nice R&B-influenced vibe mixed with some guitars and stuff but it is not enough. “Roller Coaster” was definately the light at the end of the tunnel. Not because it was much more danc-y than the others tracks, but because it is amazingly produced by mr. Darkchild. I think it would fit Justin’s next album perfectly. But the song that probably represents what essentially this series was about is “Change Me”. I’m so happy that Justin’s finally putting his own words on his songs, and his vocal on this last one is very incredible. These last 2 are probably the only ones I saw everyone love on comments on websites like Rap-Up and stuff.
I hope that with the next song, “Confident”, Justin proves he’s done with Selena and he is now confident as an artist and as a man to move on. That’s why I think this was his rock bottom. Also, I feel like there’s no way for him go to but up - on the charts. He’s done his sentences, now he has to prove everyone - with GOOD MUSIC - that he’s here to stay, for real. He needs a #1 song more than ever. He needs to have a song that people won’t be ashamed to sing a long out loud on their cars. He needs that. And he and his team needs to realise that they can’t do that with this raw (dare I say amateur-like) R&B. I saw journalists comparing his new sound to Drake and Justin Timberlake, but really? For me? Most of the songs sound a lot more like Miguel and Trey Songz. And you don’t see these last two on the top of the charts, do you? They are very respected on the R&B/Hip-hop charts, of course - but Justin needs to go beyond that. Justin is worldwide. You can’t expect to rule the world with something that only a few, small group of americans enjoy. You can’t. You have to mix that with some POP or mainstream assets. You must.
Again, this is my opinion. Again, I love Drake’s “Nothing Was The Same”, Usher’s “Here I Stand” and Chris Brown’s “F.A.M.E.”. But do you see where they have in common? They all have songs for the radio. And I’m sorry, Justin, but you need that.
Don’t you think?