Justin Bieber spreads early Christmas cheer | Inquirer Entertainment

Justin Bieber spreads early Christmas cheer

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 07:40 PM November 11, 2011

BIEBER. Carefully calibrated musical confections.

These are crazy and exciting times for fave teenage couple, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez: While 19-year-old Selena is counting on the long arm of the law to foil a stalker’s attempts to harass her, her 17-year-old boyfriend is preparing to disprove a paternity claim!

But, pop music’s “dreamy Christmas elf,” as Tina Fey describes Bieber, has something brighter up his sleeve to buoy up the spirits of his worried Beliebers—“Under The Mistletoe,” his first Christmas album.


The singer’s Yuletide offering is significant, because it attempts to go beyond faithful covers that, when handled too seriously, tend to zap the celebratory spirit out of the carols. In the cheekily facetious—and polarizing—“Drummer Boy,” for instance, you’ll either love or hate the way Bieber and Busta Rhymes “reinvent” the enduring tune with a hip-hop bent and irreverent lyrics—but, it’s hard to ignore the youthful groove and energy the “adjustment” brings to the song.


Bieber’s original tunes, nine of which he cowrote, are carefully calibrated confections that channel the diverse genres of Jason Mraz (in the reggae-like carrier single, “Mistletoe”) and Chris Brown (the slow jam, “Christmas Eve”), or ooze with earnestness (“All I Want Is You”) and warmth (“Home This Christmas,” his collaboration with The Band Perry).


The revivals in the track listing are vocal showcases: Bieber’s technique and control are impeccable in them, but you’ll also notice the brassier, more grownup timbre of his voice—which unfortunately sounds inferior alongside his gifted guests’: Usher’s vocal stylings in “The Christmas Song” are hard to top, while Boyz II Men hit their rapturous, spot-on harmonies out of the ballpark in “Fa La La.”

It’s interesting to note how the hardworking teenage heartthrob handles his complex curlicues in “All I Want For Christmas” to suit the style of guest, Mariah Carey—but, if you want a rendition of Carey’s holiday tune with a less been-there, done-that feel, listen to Michael Bublé’s version (in his just-released “Christmas” collection), instead.

Three tracks stand out: Bieber retrofits “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” with the swinging, funky vibe of the Jackson Five, while the hook-laden “Christmas Love,” a bonus track in the album’s deluxe edition, is a jaunty, heart-warming jingle.

But, the teen singer is best showcased in the luscious first track, “Only Thing I Ever Get For Christmas,” which astutely combines his maturing artistry with his knack for fusing disparate musical styles. You’ll find its finger-snapping groove hard to resist!

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TAGS: Entertainment, Justin Bieber, Music

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