The collaboration that we’ll probably be told had to happen!
Andrew Ryce: This artist credit alone strikes fear into me. I am not a Justin Bieber fan. Throw that in with one of the most egregiously anonymous group-dance acts and you’ve got yourself the stuff of nightmares. Does the audio match up? Well, a few seconds it in already sounds like Black-Eyed Peas from three years ago. This is “Like A G6” with a trancier chorus and Justin Bieber singing instead of robotic repetition. I’ll hand it to this song though, it has some real physicality in the low-end that a lot of this midrange-heavy dance-pop stuff lacks, but it’s still shit. At least Justin Bieber’s voice is less reedy and penetrating. Maybe. He finally sounds like the middle-aged lesbian he looks like.
Katherine St Asaph: Justin Bieber’s instant R&B/hip-hop career is the most dubious yet astoundingly shrugged-off musical development in years; at least Justin Timberlake worked up to it with Celebrity. In Bieb’s case, I blame Drake. In this case, I blame pop in general for turning Bieber into a pitch-shifted Britney and Calvin Harris for turning even more artists into his clones.
Brad Shoup: I don’t know what kind of fucking world I inhabit when my first reaction was “Ah, he’s finally making an adult song.” If he wants to ease out of the supernova life, singing a Far East Movement hook like a kidnapping victim is a great way to go.
Jonathan Bradley: Biebs is having almost as much trouble growing up as comparable not-a-girl-not-yet-a-woman pop stars experience. This adult man sounds boyishly awkward here. The tension can’t carry the song, but it doesn’t sink it either; he sings his parts at least as well as any Black Eyed Peas bench player might. What a shame one of the most likable young acts of the past few years is still unable to find a song to properly showcase his amiability.
Alfred Soto: The magical thing about Justin Bieber is how physical maturity hasn’t affected his nothingness. He doesn’t even register as a signifier of teenage gawkiness or lust in the same way Rihanna does for her twentysomething cohort. Offer him generic party slobber and he’s less than a wheeze. I bet Rebecca Black’s brother moves like Jagger and sings like Otis.
Anthony Easton: Who knew the way to make Bieber palatable was making him anonymous via technological intervention? I also like the hint at staccato rhythm that occurs when he tries to push life past one syllable. Far East Movement continue to be terrible, and unbelievable as anyone who had a significant party, one that would change their life, but maybe the song could be calling for a kind of moderation?
Jake Cleland: Lyrics only impressive in how unbelievably banal they are mired in a beat so paper-thin it’s at risk of blowing away in a gentle breeze, I think this might’ve undone all the goodwill Bieber earned for his part in the “Call Me Maybe” video.
Iain Mew: Justin’s chorus doesn’t sound like a hymn to partying so much as someone persevering in the face of a traumatic experience. Live my life. No matter what. Gon’ be alright. If the verses actually interacted with that in some way it might have offered an interesting new take on club pop, but, well, it’s Far East Movement.