(APRIL FOOLS!) Justin Bieber: 'My World 2.0' Album Review

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justin-bieber

Justin Bieber
My World 2.0
Island
out March 23rd

97/100
[Rating Scale]

Rate Justin Bieber's My World 2.0
[STARRATER]

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It doesn’t happen too often, but one of the greatest-feeling successes in the music discovery and sharing process is finding a gem where you least expected it. I was recently sent Justin Bieber’s My World 2.0 and laughed at the sad little package sitting on my desk. I won't deny that I thought out loud “They sent me this?!” The other students in the mailroom wondered what I was talking about. Irregardless, after ignoring the album for over a week now, I decided to finally give it a chance. I can’t even begin to express the combination of surprise, pure joy, and teenage girl tears it gave me within the first 10 minutes of listening. I really recommend you purchase the album asap and set it as a background to your reading of this review. There really is no other way for you to understand.

The album starts off with Bieber’s powerful pre-pubescent vocals paired with Ludacris’s distinguished diction on “Baby”. If I could listen only to any single series of songs for the next week, it would be solely comprised of these two artists collaborating on some epic 18 track rock opera. Ludacris expertly relates to all audiences in his verse, reeling in both 14-year-old girls and middle aged 9 to 5ers as well. Bieber has really stepped back and grown from 2009’s My World. He has successfully readdressed whom he wants as an audience, and he ought to expect soaring respect levels.

“Baby” is also My World 2.0’s first released single, and not surprisingly. It certainly is the best track on the album, but the rest follow closely with a collectively-tied second. “Eenie Meenie” is one of these track that cannot be ignored. Sean Kingston successfully adds flavorful Jamaican exoticism to the track, forcing Bieber’s previous critics to reconsider his multi-genre talent.

The album as a whole fruitfully supplies a creative assembly of pop piano, reminiscent of Ben Folds, and assorted unconventional sounds from triangles, to raised-edge wood blocks, to synth violins. As a result, Bieber doesn’t have to concentrate of dragging fans in through weak but catchy lyrics. Instead, the 16-year-old boy is able to relate profound and creative choruses. His maturity level is unrivaled amongst his peers. Subsequently, Bieber is able to believably relay his message to the listeners through his all-knowing lyrics, such as in "Runaway Love" when he cries, “I'd give it all up for us / never be enough / I won't stop until I find / My runaway love.”

My World 2.0’s ability to seamlessly flow between 2010 club hit and The Hills commercial backtrack really shows Bieber’s growth not just as an artist, but as a writer.  He daringly crosses conventional boundaries of male/female vocals, raising himself to the likes of Antony Johnson and Prince. His confidence doesn’t end there. He proves he’s for real in this album, and that he’s got the attitude to continue to put out stellar records for years to come. He doesn’t give a shit if his songs all follow identical simple formats, or that he repeats the name of the song too many times throughout each 3-4 minutes. He also defies norms when using the letter ‘u’ in “U Smile”. On World 2.0, Bieber has gained enough confidence to say, “Hey, fuck you critics. Fuck you English language. This is my sophomore album, and I’m gonna do whatever I want.” I’m not exaggerating when I say that is one of the largest flaws with today’s music industry: not enough pure, adolescent attitude.  Maybe if Arcade Fire or MGMT would get some fucking backbone they’d get this kind of praise too. Until then, I think Bieber is certainly leveling the playing field.

I know many of you are reading this and are like “this chick is batshit.” But seriously, have you ever even listened to it? I seriously doubt you have. You maybe have heard a track ironically playing from a car driving by you out on Driggs, or playing in your little sister’s room in between episodes of The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, but I really doubt you have actually considered Bieber as a potentially respectable musical artist. Moreover, I seriously encourage you to give him a chance. It’s like that time Fall Be Kind leaked and I was all “ugh, but Animal Collective is like sooo overrated!” and then I listened to it a bunch of times and I was all “Oh hey fuck, this EP is incredible!” It’s just like that.

Ari Mygatt on Twitter | Facebook | Last.fm

Happy April Fools, 2010!