Monday, January 3, 2011


Putting all reservations aside, I decided to be a bit adventurous this Holiday and review Teen Star Justin Bieber’s My World 2.0 disc back-to-back with his My Worlds Acoustic, the latter released late November.

Walking in with low expectations, I came out rather surprised how good My World 2.0 actually is, after having been immune to Bieber Fever all this time. From a Pop standpoint, the album is by all standards a solid effort, nailing all essential marks – tight production, memorable melodies and front and center, good vocals which are conscious of never being too showy and thus, non-relatable.

The hits come one after the other right from the get-go with infectious Baby (ft. Ludacris) and The Stereotypes’ Electro-Pop stunner Somebody to Love, perhaps the strongest track on the set. Clever in its shout-outs to couples who belong together like “Sonny & Cher, I got you babe”, Stuck in the Moment is a convincing plea why for young Girls across the world, there is only Bieber and no other Casa Nova. Piano Pop-Rock Ballad U Smile slows things down a bit, giving the then 15 year-old Usher prodigy a chance to show his vocal prowess.

Eenie Meenie ft. Sean Kingston infuses a bit of Island Sun into this cohesive mix of undeniably catchy Pop Gems. And staying true to his Canadian roots, Bieber throws in a bit more substance late on My World 2.0 with Up and That Should Be Me, collaborating with Toronto’s own The Messengers (Adam Messinger, Nasri). At ten tracks only, the disc is successful in leaving us wanting more.

My Worlds Acoustic is touted as a showcase for Bieber’s vocals backed by organic arrangements. Tracks like Baby, U Smile and Somebody to Love surface again without the bells and whistles, but lack the magic their original edits have, poignantly proving why it is that Pop Stars thrive on strong Production for Airplay. Interestingly, vocals here sound just as Melodyne-processed as they do on My World 2.0, which somehow defeats the purpose of a stripped-down collection.

Earlier tracks like One Less Lonely Girl sound at-home on this disc’s Acoustic incarnation in its resemblance to Beyoncé’s Guitar-driven hit Irreplaceable. Never Say Never ft. Jaden Smith heard previously in 2010’s The Karate Kid, surfaces here as a bit of a bonus for those young Fans who couldn’t afford its Soundtrack. The lone new track Pray caps things off on an inspirational note with his drop in vocal range being quite pronounced. I myself though prefer a more Dance-Pop Bieber.

Held back only by his youth and lack of a true voice lyrically, we have something to look forward to in Bieber and that is the true mark of Pop Star – to be able to grow-up along with them regardless how old you are. Although it remains to be seen whether the fame will last, we are living in an era of something special. Both albums, released through Universal Music Canada, are available digitally and in CD format. Grade: A (My World 2.0), B (My Worlds Acoustic).