Tracks like "As Long As You Love Me" and "Boyfriend" will make you nostalgic for Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds. Meanwhile, standout tracks "Catching Feelings" and "Right Here" prove that Bieber's vocals are perhaps best suited for R&B crooning and not dubstep.
Despite Bieber's best efforts to make an eclectic album that has a little something for everyone, critics seem divided on Believe. Entertainment Weekly praised the album, calling it a successful "reinvention" and "reintroduction."
"It's the rare album that tries to be everything to everyone and largely succeeds," writes EW's Kyle Anderson. The Washington Post seemed to agree, adding, "Believe, his third full-length album, is a 13-track set that shows that Bieber, now 18, is growing as a musician, and the result is enjoyable."
Meanwhile, Billboard compared Bieber to another famous Justin -- Justin Timberlake. In 2002, Timberlake released his seminal record Justified. The album was the result of Timberlake's desire to change his image from squeaky clean boy band member to a more mature artist.
"Believe does not offer any moments of transcendence, nor does it include a 'Cry Me A River.' And that's okay," writes Jason Lipshutz. "Justin Bieber may not have crossed over into the fearless stomping grounds of the Timberlakes yet, but he may very well get there someday, and that's all we need to know for now."
However, it wasn't all good new for the Biebs. Unlike Billboard, Rolling Stone doesn't think Bieber has the "soulful vocal snaps of a Justin Timberlake." Ultimately, the music magazine was less than impressed with Bieber's "technological tomfoolery."
"His gently sparkling persona can get overwhelmed by all the sonic gear-switching, technological tomfoolery and sweaty come-ons," writes Jon Dolan. "It can all feel a bit rushed."
Believe may have a lot of bells and whistles, but since when did the teenaged superstar ever done anything subtly? After all, this is the same kid who rented out the entire Staples Center so that he could treat his girlfriend Selena Gomez to a romantic movie date.
Still, after listening to Believe, it becomes increasingly clear that Bieber is still growing -- as as a person, as a singer, as a performer, as a writer (Bieber co-wrote all but one song on the album) and as an artist.
Of course, that doesn't mean we can't have a little fun at the Biebs expense. We selected 15 of the album's silliest lyrics -- taken completely out of context -- that prove that despite his best efforts, Bieber is still just a teenager who has some growing up to do. Check out fan reactions to the music below. Believe is out in the U.S. on Tuesday.
1. "Why you working so shy? Hold it back, hold it back" ("All Around the World")
2. "Swag, swag, swag, on you/ Chillin' by the fire while we eatin’ fondue/ I dunno about me but I know about you/ So say hello to falsetto in three, two" ("Boyfriend")
3. "I could be your Buzz Lightyear fly across the globe/ I don’t never wanna fight yeah, you already know/
I'm a make you shine bright like you’re laying in the snow/ Burr" ("Boyfriend")
4. "I'll be your Hova, you can be my Destiny's Child on a stinger" ("As Long as You Love Me")
5. "Don't be so cold, we could be fire" ("Right Here")
6. "They say we're too young for love/ But I'm catching feelings, catching feelings" ("Catching Feelings")
7. "I fell victim to your style/ It's so amazing, girl you're in your only" ("Thought of You")
8. "We gonna party like it's 3012 tonight" ("Beauty and the Beat")
9. "Girl, I can feel your body rock (aye,aye,aye)/ Take a bow, you on the hottest ticket now (aye,aye,aye)" ("Beauty and the Beat")
10. "Cause I don't want-want nobody when I got-got your body, baby" ("One Love")
11. "I don't know how I got here" ("Believe")
12. "Hey baby I love your accent-cent-cent/ I think I like you more because your different-ferent-ferent-ferent"
13. "She don't wanna live this life, damn, it's my life too" ("She Don't Like the Lights")
14. "Mariaaaa! Why you wanna do me like that?" ("Maria")
15. "She ain't my baby, she ain't my girl" ("Maria")
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Ellie Maye Jenkins ✝
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