Saturday, February 02, 2013

Justin Bieber: Believe

"He’s an R&B aspirant trapped in a pop universe, and subject to its whims. A pop star at his level has fewer options than you’d think. To make an album somehow out of lock step with the sounds of the day, and potentially come off as misdirected — or maybe worse, too forward thinking — would be to risk leaving food on the table. By that measure 'Believe' ... is gluttonous, full of savvy compromises: between Mr. Bieber’s natural gifts and the exigencies of radio; between warm, intimate vocals and music designed for arenas and nightclubs and arena-size nightclubs; between Mr. Bieber’s beloved R&B and the dance-oriented pop that’s currently in vogue. ... 'Believe' is a king-size ballad where he sings unfettered: 'There were days when I was just broken, you know/There were nights when I was doubting myself/But you kept my heart from folding.' That’s matched in intensity by the sun-dappled teen-crush soul of 'Catching Feelings' and 'Be Alright,' a guitar-driven number that recalls the Tony Rich Project, the underappreciated neo-soul classicist of the mid-1990s. These are this album’s high points" (Jon Caramanica, "Pop's Good Boy Tries Growing Up," New York Times, 6/14/12).
View catalog record here!


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