Justin Bieber’s ‘Believe’

21 Jun

Since he turned 18 in March, Justin Bieber has been determined to portray himself as being a more matured artist with a third studio album titled ‘Believe‘. Unfortunately for him, the Canadian singer has never been taken very seriously because of his child-like image, and his first ‘grown-up’ single, ‘Boyfriend‘, did not do much to cease the teasing as critics branded Bieber a wannabe Justin Timberlake. This first taste of the new album did, however, leave numerous listeners in curiosity due to its hip-hop foundations. This adoption of a less sugar-coated genre suggested that we were to be witnessing a different side of Bieber, but many remained sceptical purely due to his iconic playfulness. ‘Boyfriend‘ was not a perfect track; littered with childish lyrics alongside a false ego. So, is the album the same disappointment, or a pleasant surprise?

Without a doubt, ‘Believe‘ does indeed show Bieber to be progressing into a more refined and established artist as the album is built up by a mixture of hip-hop inspired club anthems and acoustic led melodies. Although the spotlight is often stolen by his friends at Young Money, it is an impressive display of vocals against soundscapes that straddle over multiple genres; there is an abundance of character. The self-penned lyrics are both inspiring and pretty as the subject matters cover the usual romances as well as often being politically and socially aware. Simply, it is a playful album piled with genre hybrids that are led by Bieber’s personal mission, giving it some sort of discipline that dissolves most of his trade-mark sweetness.


Track-by-track breakdown:

All Around The World‘ (ft. Ludacris) – A club anthem alive with seductive beats and hushed vocals. Inspiring lyrics disguised by a love interest flow around Ludacris’ fierce and thoughtful guest rap. It is a strong and fun opening bound for the dance floor.

Boyfriend‘ – The first single to be released from the album,shows Bieber’s interest outside of tweenpop with the use of hip-hop. A cheeky ego leads the track but the childish lyrics cancels out his maturity. See the full review here.

‘As Long As You Love Me’ (ft. Big Sean) – Dubstep inspired, this is a track tailored for the dance floor as its contagious beats act as the leading feature. The bridge line is beautiful and seductive with glowing lyrics but the second round adds an anthemic spirit to the already energetic vibe. There is, however, a lack of flow to the track as there seems to be no control of the soundscape, hinting at poor production.

‘Catching Feelings’ – Bieber is pulled down to Earth with this simple, stripped back, romantic piece that is just smooth.

Take You‘ – Latin inspired acoustics and R&B beats lead this ‘Boyfriend‘ retake as Bieber has another go at seducing his love interest. The smoothness eventually builds up into a huge dance-based chorus that echoes the album’s opening.

Right Here‘ (ft. Drake) – Another song of seduction led by Drake’s stunning guest appearance, that leaves Bieber in the dark. It is a messy track that sees a lack of harmony as the vocals and the heavy beats compete against each other.

Fall‘ – An emotional and uplifting piece that adds some charm to the album. Romance builds the scene but the indie-pop acoustics work wonders beside the powerful choir sections. It is typically sugar-coated, but bearable.

Die In  Your Arms‘ – Upbeat and fun, this track adds some character with some jazz-inspired drums and pianos alongside a glorious choir section.

Thought Of You‘ – Another upbeat track that is bound to get those toes tapping. Led by a catchy melody and a joyful vibe, it is a sweet love song that is bound to make your teeth rot. It has a wonderful flow, but the ‘yeah’ repetitions spoil the ending.

Beauty and a Beat‘ (ft. Nicki Minaj) – Returning to the dance floor with another club anthem littered with synths. Bieber’s vocals sound a little awkward, but Minaj saves it with a fierce guest rap that provides plenty of character.

One Love‘ – Sparkling keyboard synths below the R&B beats leads the romantic vibe. Bieber’s vocals are controlled and smooth as he sings his pretty, yet humble, lyrics – “all I need is one love, one heart”. It is catchy as well as seductive.

Be Alright‘ – A discussion of hardships of a long-distant relationship, this track is quite simply lovely. The musical backdrop is minimal, with the acoustic guitar being the dominating feature which only enhances the emotions to make it a touching song.

Believe‘ – The title track is a dedication to Bieber’s loyal fans. It is filled with power and soul thanks to the inspiring and touching lyrics that build into a ballad. Created by a strings and pianos with some rock-inspired drums and gentle guitars, the soundscapes is quite overwhelming, but harmonious. The added choir section act as a finishing touch to enhance the sense of unification.

Love Me Like You Do‘ – A seductive and slow R&B tune closes the album. A let down from the previous track, but calming.

There is nothing remarkable about the album, but it is not a poorly written album either. Bieber has succeeded in bring something new to the table, meaning he may be in for a brighter future than most of his haters would like. There is still room for improvement of course, but the young singer still has plenty of time.


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