Don’t stop Beliebing: It’s our “Believe Acoustic” review!
It’s been a minute since Justin Bieber laid down some of that sweet, sweet acoustic tunage on his fans (he first did it in 2010 with My Worlds Acoustic), but don’t worry, girl, he’s ready to deliver some more guitar-led goodness and whisper each swag-filled serenade directly into your ear with Believe Acoustic.
Whether it’s the chilly season, late-adolescent growing pains, the not-so-glamorous reality of fame, or his even-less-private breakup with former GF Selena Gomez, the Bieber’s obviously been in a more pensive state of mind lately. And so, perhaps to exorcise his demons, the 18-year-old pop prince has provided a mostly sad-sounding (yet critically acclaimed), acoustic version of his platinum-selling 2012 record, Believe, along with a few brand-new tracks — including the recently premiered sob-fest “Nothing Like Us.”
So get ready to melt, bawl, shake, and cry Beliebers: This is Justin Bieber, acousti-fied.
Read our track-by-track review of Justin Bieber’s Believe Acoustic after the jump!
1.) “Boyfriend“: Bieber’s “Boyfriend” was already pretty minimal and moody in its original form, but when backed by just a guitar, the teen heartthrob’s sultry come-ons tinge with even more sex appeal. That is, when he’s not seductively cooing about fondue. Swag, swag, swaggin’ on you has never felt so, uh, silly.
2.) “As Long As You Love Me“: Biebs has belted out the acoustic rendition of “As Long As You Love Me” plenty of times already (like right before he started oogling those models at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show), so it’s no surprise that the studio version is rock-solid. That heaven-sent melody (“La-la-la-la-la-la-la-love me, love me”), especially, does some magical things inside.
3.) “Beauty And A Beat“: It’s time to get absolutely CRAY-ZAY: “We gonna party like it’s 3012 tonight!” Bieber, um, sadly croons above his lonely guitar. Are we, though? Are we really going to party, Justin? Or are we going to sit around and ugly cry? Because it sort of sounds like we’re going to ugly cry. Please hold me.
4.) “She Don’t Like The Lights“: We’re really into the deep cuts now! More strummage, more seductive cooing for his ode to a lady friend who’s not here for all the glitz and glam of fame (#PopStarProblems!). His girl may not like the lights, but she probably loves herself an 18-year-old with an acoustic guitar.
5.) “Take You“: The seductiveness of this Believe track translates well acoustically, but it’s Bieber’s multilingual prowess that’s the obvious highlight: “Baby, senorita, mon cherie/Please be my little lady,” he urges in a near whisper, fearlessly flirting in tongues galore. Somehow, I imagine more than a few little ladies will swoon.
6.) “Be Alright“: PIANO! Not guitar! This one’s a piano-led acoustic — and it sounds beautiful! And absolutely devastating! You can almost see Bieber crooning this one alone, sitting at his white baby grand, staring thoughtfully into the roaring fire as he looks down, turns over the piano sheet, and sighs. Would she still remember those nights? A single tear falls on the keys.
7.) “All Around The World“: Bieber’s Ludacris-assisted Believe opening track, in its original form, is a throbbing, dance o’clock production of bumpin’ beats. As a result, the acoustic equivalent falls a little, erm, limp. Let’s face it: It’s hard to convince the DJ to bring it back with a guitar in hand.
8.) “Fall (Live)“: Did you know? Live vocals! “I can tell you’re afraid of what this might do, ’cause we got such an amazing friendship and that you don’t wanna lose,” the Biebs urges on the live recording. Don’t worry, girl — Justin’s got you. And he’ll be there to catch you when you fall.
9.) “Yellow Raincoat“: The first new track of the bunch, and Bieber’s still bringing on the heartache: “Never do I ever do I want this thing to make me/ ’Cause the fame and the money, and the girls will drive you crazy,” Bieber sadly croons. Fame: It ain’t easy! But don’t worry, there’s a silver lining: As long as he’s got his yellow raincoat, Justin’s protected from whatever comes his way. (And by that, we assume he means haters.) We hate haters.
10.) “I Would“: New song, part two! (Note: This one isn’t acoustic.) “If I could make a better way, so you could see a better day/ Baby, I would,” the Biebs promises on the slow swaggering, R&B-pop production. It’s a solid, sweetly sung promise to his sweetheart in distress — with Justin, the world is yours! Shining, shimmering, splendid…
11.) “Nothing Like Us“: The final new song, and truly, the ultimate tearjerker: Crooning atop a somber piano melody, Bieber belts out his most vulnerable track on the record: “There’s nothing like us, there’s nothing like you and me,” he painfully reflects on the breakup ballad, ending the album on the saddest of sad notes. “Girl, why would you push me away?” ALL OF THE TEARS.
Photo credit: Island Def Jam