Over the course of the last few weeks, an odd malady has crept into my system. I could attribute the illness to “seasonal changes” or blame it on the progressively chilling weather– or even on the germs beginning to cling to the doors and handrails of UConn’s campus, but I’ll be blunt. It’s Bieber fever. I’ve gone from rolling my eyes and scoffing at the thuggish teen’s antics and popularity…to unashamed adoration. My jaw has remained dropped as I watch Justin Bieber totally re-mold his musical style—and I begin my ravenous downloading like a 12 year old fan-girl deep in the belieber scene. The fact is, Justin now has my undivided musical attention and I can’t get enough of these R&B-littered, Drake-style, mushy singles that the 19-year-old keep cranking out—which are all supposedly “journal” components to his “Music Mondays” set, ending in December.
The collection began October 1st, with Justin’s release of “Heartbreaker” via Twitter, a super-slow, lovesick slow jam infused with bass, mellowed-out percussion, hollow-y elect guitar accents, and a lot of whiny cries. Bieber’s spoken word, three minutes in, sends goose bumps. Gratitude can be directed to hip-hop producers Maejor Ali, Chief Tone, and T-Minus, who built the swooning beat. Upon my first listen, I tried to hate the song. I really did; but that fact is, Justin Bieber’s vocal talent is beginning to manifest itself through much, much more mature outlets: R&B and ballads. And once these changes hit your ears—and your heart, you’ll take him a little more seriously. His vocal quality is no longer that of the high-pitched “Baby” Bieber, but its deeper, more flexible transformation provides more than compensation. And as for the singer’s recent, highly publicized bad-boy behavior—this will only seem like a weakly constructed façade that melts right off once you’ve given a listen to the soft and sensitive content of Music Mondays.
After the drop of the first M.M. success, Bieber followed suit with the angsty, romance-ridden theme on the following Monday’s track, “Hold On”, an irresistibly sweet single that has no shame in referencing Justin’s recently lost love, Selena Gomez. The bars speak for themselves; “don’t let this go to your head…but you’re the best I’ve ever had/something like a Ziploc…but a lip lock”. Thank you, Justin; I love that. The song is so keyboard-heavy and loaded with synths that the instrumental alone might knock you over—in a state of bliss, of course. The lyrics are just the decadent icing on top of the already delicious beat–just another reason for the newfound love of the previously-pop singer. “All That Matters” is the song’s twin, freshly released the week after.
R&B fits Justin great. But although the latest additions to his Music Monday collection have been totally acoustic, they work just as well. The lyrics vary little from JB’s heartbreak and somber life post-Selena, but somewhere in there is a spot guaranteed for each of us to relate. Additionally, the musical maturity is obvious; one may find him or herself more receptive to the new Justin, who seems to closely resemble a younger version of heartbreak-Drake. So do yourself a favor (guys included), and check out the Biebs’ new work—it’ll at least diminish some of your boiling disdain for the little punk. (Link below)…