Justin Bieber plays it safe, and sounds insecure as a result.
Justin Bieber is a married man now, and that's changed him, so he wants to sing about it.
That's the thesis anyway, but on the pop star's first album in five years, literally called Changes, Bieber refuses to dissect the tumultuous year of marriage he had in 2019, and instead settles for vague, tepid anecdotes about how he's "diggin" the way his wife "feels on his skin."
"Just trying to occupy my mind so that I don't go looney over you," Bieber sings, seriously on "E.T.A." "Thank you, yes, you're less than five minutes away from me. In your arms, rubbing on your face," he croons over an acoustic guitar. The 16-track mammoth is stuffed with lethargic sketches of sex and more sex, only broken up by a little bit of making out. While electro R&B fits Bieber like a glove, the production is so thinly-veiled that each track becomes indistinguishable from the next, and Bieber somehow makes emboldened love sound like poorly curated slam poetry. "Flowers open when they feel the sunlight, Moonrise, tide change, right before our eyes," He sings on "Habitual." "Aggressive but softly, you place your lips on my lips." While the sentiment is undoubtedly genuine, the result is pedestrian R&B that moves at the pace of a cardiac monitor. There are moments of fleeting vulnerability, but they are sung as brief whispers, and never lead anywhere meaningful. "Never thought I could ever be loyal to someone other than myself," Bieber sings on "All Around Me" before retreating back into his surface-level cocoon – "guess anything is possible with your help!"
R&B has always been Bieber's cruise-control. Raised as Usher's apprentice, it has remained a sound the child-star could rely on and easily navigate in times of trouble. But his 10-part YouTube series and the relentless and inappropriate promotion of "Yummy," advertised a Bieber fully ready to re-enter the spotlight and reclaim his throne. Then why does Changes sound so safe? Why is it so diluted, and why is Bieber so scared to talk about anything other than how "yummy" his wife is?
Changes sounds less like a proclamation and more like a scared little boy tip-toeing back into a world he's afraid doesn't want him anymore. In hindsight, the vicious promotion of this album all makes sense. Bieber feels insecure about his place in the genre he used to dominate, so instead of taking a modicum of creative risk, he's released a project destined to dominate the charts solely because it's "what the kids are listening to these days." The result is a project as corny and insecure as he is.
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The Biebs overcomes years of mild inconveniences, returning to the stage in his brilliant, insulting new trailer.
Are you a Justin Bieber fan? Cool! He think's you're an easily manipulated idiot.
Today, Justin released the trailer for his upcoming docuseries, Seasons, on his official YouTube account. It's intimate, emotional, inspiring, and it's also overt propaganda designed to manufacture relevance and public support for a fading pop star-turned-meme. Every aspect of the trailer wants you to see Bieber as a victim, from the cliché, sad piano underpinning the first 40 seconds to the laughably melodramatic testimonial clips from "concerned" friends and family. It's unintentionally pretty funny, but also gross.
Justin Bieber: Seasons | Official Trailer Ft. Yummy | YouTube Originals www.youtube.com
While no details are given in the video regarding the hardship Bieber has been going through, we do get dramatic shots of him moping in various locations. The classic rule of filmmaking: Show don't tell. Here we can actually see Justin grappling with his inner turmoil and heroically overcoming his trials and tribulations.
Justin Bieber searching his basketball shorts for hope, unable to find it under wads of cash.
You can tell he is really sad here, because the footage is in black and white. Plus, he is in the desert, completely alone (with the exception of the massive film crew and catered food outside the shot). Just like Jesus, JB is confronting demons, like how "coffee [used to] come out better."
At one point in the video, JB's manager, Scooter Braun (the guy Taylor Swift accused of bullying her) literally says: "No one's ever grown up, in the history of humanity, like Justin Bieber."
I can name a couple, Mr. Braun, and their legacies didn't age very well.
That's what pisses me off about Seasons and this ad for it. Bieber and the team behind this project are deliberately attempting to manipulate the audience to feel bad for him, as if he has resembled anything close to an underdog since age 13.
It was 8th period algebra. He was much better at AP revisionist history.
"But wait," you argue, "he isn't actually hurting anyone or manipulating anyone." WRONG! This is a PR stunt combined with a promotional campaign for an upcoming album, and its sole purpose is to get public sentiment back on his side, then take your money for that album and all subsequent merchandise and tours. Furthermore, it hurt my brain to watch.
I legit loved the episode of SNL when Justin Bieber hosted. I thought he was great.
I hope I'm wrong and that Seasons is a quality docuseries with heart. Perhaps this trailer was cooked up by YouTube executives or some marketing agency and Justin Bieber is contractually obligated to push such promotional materials on his personal social media accounts. YouTube is paying $2 million per episode (10 episodes total), so I wouldn't be surprised. Or maybe he likes the video because it shows off some sweet new tattoos. To his credit, it looks very well shot. If the implicit and explicit messaging of the trailer weren't so intellectually bankrupt, insulting, and self righteous, I'd be super psyched for this Entourage reboot.
Oh and his upcoming single, "Yummy" just sounds...creepy.
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