Album: Justin Bieber, Believe (Mercury)
I realise that teen idoldom is hardly the territory to hunt for innovation, but even so, this is a pitifully timid affair.
The blandness of the R&B pop-soul arrangements simply throws attention on to the repetitive narrowness of Bieber's delivery. Equally poor are the desultory guest raps by such as Ludacris and Big Sean. The best track by far is "Take You", which modulates between two-step shuffle, striding electro and floaty segues, and affords Bieber the opportunity for his most interesting harmony parts.
Download: Take You; Beauty and a Beat
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