Justin Bieber – Under The Mistletoe

“Bieber Fever” became an epidemic among pre-pubescent girls in 2009 after Justin Bieber was discovered on YouTube. Since his biopic Never Say Never was released in February, many of the uninfected had been hoping it would be the last they would hear of the teenage pop star for a long while. Unfortunately they were not so lucky.
Justin Bieber has just released his second studio album, Under the Mistletoe, a collection of classic and non-traditional Christmas carols-turned-pop-songs.

Fans of the Bieb might somehow find this a fun and entertaining album full of Christmas cheer, but for those with taste it is far from enjoyable. Even listening to it for the first time with an open mind does not achieve good results in the slightest.

The first and most horrible part of this album is that 7 of the 11 tracks are love songs sung by a seventeen year old. This not only makes the music pretentious and tacky but causes it to lose Christmas spirit due to its unbelievable themes. This kid should be singing about building snowmen and eating a roast lunch with his family or riding skateboards with his friends on holidays, not girls, love and getting a girl as his Christmas wish. It’s hard to listen to when you expect cheer and festivity but receive slow love ballads from someone who couldn’t possibly have the greatest experience or expertise in the area.

The lyrics aren’t Bieber’s only problem; that voice needs some work. It’s not just the piercing nasally sounds but the fact that even after puberty he still sounds like a girl. This is most distressing when listening to the duet, “All I Want for Christmas Is You”, and not being able to tell which voice is Justin Bieber’s and which is Mariah Carey’s. He could definitely lay off the embellishments and reverb improvisation on every line of every song too – it just gets annoying.

The way the songs have been adapted to fit the audience of young fans has not been done well: “Drummer Boy” featuring Busta Rymes is one example that has major issues. Bieber’s attempt at rapping is amusingly dismal as he exclaims “I’m surprised you didn’t hear this in the Bible” however Busta’s awful rap about Twitter followers does diminish any possible positives of the song and the album as a whole. Bieber unsuccessfully tries to make up for this by encouraging listeners to donate to charity, but instead he comes across as a rich kid who wants to sound like an adult. If anyone has that sort of money to throw around, it’s him.

Ignoring the actual sound of his voice makes “Silent Night” a disappointing highlight (probably because it’s the closest to the original) and the other classics have mostly been butchered, the originals in dire need of destroying.

The best part of this album however is the shortness in length of tracks. Most go for around 3 minutes so don’t worry, if you are exposed to the record at a family lunch, you’ll only be holding back from sticking knifes in your ears for just over half an hour. Or you could always ‘accidently’ run over the CD repeatedly with your car…
by Olivia Whyte

January 10th 2012
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