Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber is a megastar, it has to be said! With 15 million album sales behind him, 33 million followers on Twitter and Forbes’ third most powerful celebrity in the world he’s on the rise to stardom on a continual basis. The release of his third studio album Believe in 2012 cemented this fact, leaning towards a more mature sound dissimilar from the teen pop sound of previous releases. Hence it only seems right to veer towards authenticity by producing a new album of acoustic versions of songs found on his latest album. Believe Acoustic features acoustic versions of eight songs from the worldwide multi platinum album whilst also including a special live performance of ‘Fall’ and three previously unreleased songs.
With all the acoustic tracks being co-produced by Justin and music director Dan Kanter, the first three tracks are popular radio hits ‘Boyfriend’, ‘As Long As You Love Me’ and ‘Beauty and a Beat’. ‘Boyfriend’ opens as you’d expect it to, with a lounge style guitar underplaying Biebers pure and tuneful vocals whilst the version of ‘As Long As You Love Me’ provides a whole new dimension to the original song. Bieber’s emotional cry to be loved proves effective, the image of pre-teen girls getting hot under the collar is the first thought to come to mind. But it’s at this point you come to realise that JB isn’t just a manufactured pop artist appealing to a certain audience but in fact there is an exquisite array of talent on show in terms of both vocal performance and song writing which often gets underplayed by tabloid hype.
‘Beauty and a Beat’ highlights the same ideals of incredible pop writing coupled with a performer who is genuinely talented in vocal performance. ‘She Don’t Like The Lights’ picks up the pace as much as is possible on an acoustic album, whilst ‘Take You’ has a very much R&B feel to it. Do I hear piano? It’s ‘Be Alright’ time, a ballad for the slow jam folk, before picking up the pace again for ‘All Around The World’. It’s then time for a live performance of ‘Fall’; which, in my opinion, is one of the best-written songs Bieber has produced to date, with emotionally motivated lyrical content with believability oozing out of the song.
New track ‘Yellow Raincoat’ didn’t really cut it for me, with reused lyrics and a tune that doesn’t seem to exist with the idea of being catchy, it falls short in comparison to the rest of the album. However,‘I Would’ has much better vibes and then self-produced ‘Nothing Like Us’ is brilliant! The very definition of why he’s so successful.
I don’t consider myself a pop fan, but anyone who moans about Justin Bieber being a teen girl overnight sensation can listen to this album, he’s a very talented individual who has a very long career ahead of him.
Review by Dan Earl