Justin Bieber ft. Ludacris - 'Baby'
It does say something curious about the people who work in the entertainment business in America that the only way they can relate to the idea of teenage innocence is basically rooted in the 1950s. They get some hot young buck like Justin, fresh off the internet and with a readymade fanbase from YouTube, and before you can say Instant Messenger, he's filming a video in a bowling alley, and singing a song which is part 'Runaround Sue' by Dion and the Belmonts and part 'Stand By Me' (both versions, Ben E King and Sean Kingston).
Oh sure, they've jacked the beats up, this ride has been 100% pimped, but seeing as it's doubtful that anyone who was a teenager in the actual '50s has a lot to do with the creative decisions in Justin's career, whose youth is he having to painstakingly re-enact here?
And is the only alternative to bobbysocks and bowling alleys to go the iPhone and crib-party route?
(Here's the video, and here comes mad old uncle Ludacris. He's got a story about what life was like back in the olden days, when he first had a girlfriend. It's not a very long story, but sometimes he tells it slowly and some times he jabbers excitedly. Please don't be alarmed, kiddiwinks, this is just what mad old uncle Ludacris is like. If you find tiny tears forming in your eyes when he's all exciteable and yelling, just remember, he will soon calm down and he won't hurt you.)
I guess the key to this thing is romance. A girl singer of Justin's age would have to be performing bang-up-to-the-minute productions which hint that she's possibly not as sweet a girl as she may appear. That's simply how things are right now.
Justin, on the other hand, because of his tender years and gentle face, would not get far singing a song about, say, making love in a club, or the joys of a hotel room. It's not what you, the people who love him want to hear coming out of his mouth. What you want is the sure and certain knowledge that he is a nice boy who will take care of your most precious feelings.
Modern popular music doesn't really cater for that emotion too well. There's the "if you're having a bad time I'll come and help sort it out" kind of a song, or the "I wish I had never been so insensitive to your needs, please take me back" ballad, but if you're after a promise, a reassurance that everything is going to be OK if you just stick with that nice clean-cut Beiber kid, well maybe the past is the place to look after all.