Help! We’ve Got Bieber Fever!

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For the longest time, Justin Bieber’s name has been synonymous with everything wrong with the music industry.  He quickly went from cute YouTube talent to overindulged pop idol, churning out mediocre love songs and offensively poor Christmas hits.  Over the past nine years, Justin Bieber has indeed become the poster child for musical consumerism. While Justin began as a sweet Hollywood outsider, his career quickly followed the predictably bleak path of so many young stars catapulted into the spotlight.  Like many before him, Justin whirled into an abyss of drinking, drug abuse, and arrests all before he was 20.

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But recently, something has happened in Justin Bieber’s highly chronicled life story – a sudden reshuffling of the deck if you will.  It seems since Jack Ü’s song, “Where are Ü Now”, dropped last spring, Justin Bieber’s image has been on an upswing.  At first, listeners were embarrassed to admit they liked the song not in spite of Bieber but because of him.  But now, it’s hard to get around the fact that Bieber has us, if not in love, at least in serious like.  On Facebook, post after post begrudgingly announces renewed Beliebers.  Halloween was practically a “Sorry” music video remake as the dancer’s costumes outfitted squads across the college campuses.  The young star has even outdone The Beatles, amassing an impressive 17 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, three times more than the British band achieved in 1964.

So what is it that has us in such a reluctant love affair with Bieber?  Simply put, his music is good.  It’s inventive, it’s catchy, and it’s hard not to notice.

Fans who once used Bieber’s pretty face as their flip phone background and sung along during the young sensation’s Never Say Never documentary are now five years older and looking for more from the now tattoo-clad artist. And Bieber has met the demand, pushing into a new realm of the burgeoning tropical house genre. Far removed from his cutesy beginnings, his latest tracks are certified bangers, his music videos are visually and conceptually impressive, and his musical talent is undeniable.

Justin’s fans from the days of “One Time” and “Baby” have come along for Bieber’s artistic evolution because they too have grown. Even non-Beliebers have become curious for more of his new sound. Although his tainted past still elicits an eye-roll and snicker, its hard to deny that his restructured sound is forward-facing. Adding a new fan base, drawn to his skillfully minimal, futuristic EDM-inspired sound, Bieber has proven his worth not as a musical machine – but as a musician.

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What We ThinkStaci DubowPop