Justin Bieber: Believe
Style: Beats pop; compare to Usher, Selena Gomez, Justin Timberlake
Top tracks: "All Around the World" (ft. Ludacris), "Boyfriend," "Die in Your Arms"
The international pop sensation, now 18, skillfully initiates the transition from fresh-faced teen idol to adult pop staple on his third studio release. Feeding pop's dance-synth craze, club beats infiltrate the set with nominal success. But Bieber is best when pandering to his R&B core on the funky Motown "Die in Your Arms" (perfected by a sample of MJ's "We've Got a Good Thing Going") and the acoustic soul of "Be Alright"—exposing the talented singer's affective maturing vocals. Bieber has been open about his Christian faith, but this album includes zero God shout-outs—ironic, considering its title. But lyrics remain chaste, avoiding the bawdy growing pains of boys-to-men pop peers like Joe Jonas.
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