Team Bieber know exactly what they’re doing and who they’re talking to.
Fraser McAlpine 2010
Justin Bieber is a young man with a sweet voice who has been transformed into a huge entertainment machine. His CD insert lists everyone involved in his career so far, from the studio engineers and executive producers to the legal team and even the lady responsible for “grooming” that perfect hair. There’s no room for lyrics and barely any for photos.
My Worlds is Justin’s debut mini-album My World expanded, incorporating the tracks released as My World 2.0 in the US. It has been released in two halves because of an early, insatiable demand for songs, once his YouTube appeal was translated into a record deal.
Now, for all the talk about this album being by a teenager, for teenagers, there’s not a lot going on here which is unique to modern youth. Most people know what a first dance is, for example. And even the fustiest of grown-ups can work out what an “eenie meenie minie moe lover” is, if they think about it hard enough.
In fact it’s the songs which try to show understanding of the teenage world which fall over easily. Somebody to Love is a straightforward plea for a soul mate; it says something we’ve all felt, whereas I can safely say that no-one has ever compared love to maths homework, as they do in Common Denominator.
But despite the clunky moments, there’s ample proof that Team Bieber know exactly what they’re doing and who they’re talking to. As you’d expect, it’s the ballads that hit the hardest.
Stuck in the Moment is the classic doomed-love tragedy: they can’t be together, but they cannot bear to part. Naturally it mentions Romeo and Juliet, and Bonnie and Clyde. Up is the flipside, in which Justin realises love makes him invulnerable.
That Should Be Me, the grand finale, is going to cause nothing but emotional pandemonium in households and bedrooms all over the land. It’s a sobbing ballad in which Justin pleads the girl who left him behind (how could she?) to take him back.
To which his fans will answer as one: Justin, we would never have let you go in the first place.