Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber – 10,000 Hours

Not a lot of outliers here…


Katie Gill: It takes 10,000 hours of practice in order to be an expert at something. This is a well-known saying. So it’s perfectly feasible to believe that Dan, Shay, and Justin knew of this saying before they came up with this song and built the song up off of that specific saying. So, what? It takes 10,000 hours to be an expert in this one particular girl? It falls apart. Why evoke that specific amount of hours if you’re not going to build the song off of it? Needless to say, Dan + Shay have not completed those 10,000 hours yet because they give us a song that’s just “Speechless” with a fresh coat of paint and a Justin Bieber guest verse that is utterly superfluous.

Will Adams: Given Bieber’s track record of ruining songs he has no business being a part of, his turn on “10,000 Hours” is refreshingly inoffensive, and pairing him with Dan + Shay for a boy band ballad makes sense. Still, I’m not sure that invoking Malcolm Gladwell for a love song is the move.

Hazel Southwell: Would I like this if *NSync did it? Probably. I mean, not now — would I have liked it if it were one of the mid-tempo ballads that made up the majority of the back end of most *NSync albums? Yeah, sure. I’m kind of fascinated that that’s one of the aesthetics coming back as part of all this ’90s/’00s sound revival that I’m mostly unashamedly loving. Thing is, if I’m not limited to one or two albums every six months, and therefore not duty bound to go all-in on whatever I throw my record store tokens at, would I put up with this pedestrian melody whose lyrics have a weird kind of silicon valley grindbro/grifter element to them? Probably nah.

Alfred Soto: Thinking that a dulcet melody can support lyrics this cornball and a guest vocalist this blank is the most depressing thing about “10,000 Hours.” But, hey, banjo solo!

Oliver Maier: The lyrics on the verses here shoot for endearingly specific and land on absolutely bananas. “Do you love the rain, does it make you dance / When you’re drunk with your friends at a party?” Do the folks this deep inside the pop-industrial complex have so distorted a sense of what intimacy is like that their lyrics scan more like Talk to Transformer prose than anything a human being might conceivably ask their partner? “Do you miss the road that you grew up on? / Did you get your middle name from your grandma?” croons Bieber like he’s trying to hack into Hailey Baldwin’s online banking account. Rescued from going full uncanny valley by the hook, trite but catchy in a way that makes me wish a boy band were singing it.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Sounds like 10,000 other forgettable, clumsy, cliché love songs. 

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One Response to “Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber – 10,000 Hours”

  1. Malcolm Gladwell was screwed out of a songwriting credit.