Monday, April 19th, 2021

Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar & Giveon – Peaches

They were put there by a man…


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[4.33]

Andrew Karpan: More so than most aspirational pop stars, Justin Bieber’s job is to show us what it means to have what it is that we have been told to want: a mannequin for the whims of the collective subconscious. When we wanted bad boys, Bieber tried his darndest to be the baddest he could be and almost killed himself doing so. When hookup culture died and we wanted, actually, to delete our dating apps and find love for the forever after, Bieber then proceeded to fall as hard in love as he possibly could, reckoning the discomfort of observers by demonstrating the vulgarity of their desire. If ethics can be defined — as Andrea Long Chu once put it — as commitment to the bit, no pop star is so committed and no head has ever looked so heavy as the one that sings “Peaches,” a kind of perfect poem of influencerese that recasts the melancholy gestures of globalization as soft objects of comfort. Flanked by two smoother, somewhat more capable R&B singers and to whom Bieber lends the tedious task of desiring the listener, Bieber finds himself free to sing aimlessly about what’s at the top of our mind: getting stoned and buying groceries — the smell of paradise in a hell world.
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Oliver Maier: “Peaches” is as good as you could expect Bieber to be at this point and as optimised as he realistically should be on every occasion. It’s catchy and efficient, with each silky-voiced lad nudging his verse along the conveyor belt back to that inevitable hook, which Biebs lays down no fewer than seven times. Excessive? Probably, but “Peaches” is designed for pleasure overload, brimming with cute details and artificial sweetener.
[5]

Juana Giaimo: Argh, even after all this time, I still like Justin Bieber’s voice — smooth but slightly trembling, and so youthful. And while Daniel Caesar and Giveon also have beautiful voices, I feel that they don’t fit here. They sound too soulful, especially with those retro backing vocals featured in their verses. Maybe some interaction would have helped in integrating the three voices, but, in the end, as much as I like his voice, Justin Bieber seems a broken CD repeating the same lines — and I truly didn’t need to hear him repeat “bad-ass bitch” so many times. 
[5]

Al Varela: The easy thing for me to say would be that this song would be better without Bieber on it. This kind of groovy R&B, which works wonders for Daniel Caesar and Giveon, doesn’t work for a wimpy singer like Justin Bieber, who, when he tries to exude any sense of “cool,” comes off as the cringiest, saddest white boy desperate to impress his black friends. All that being said, I also can’t deny that the hook has been in my head for weeks. As annoying as those cheesy ad-libs could be, all of that melts away when you listen to this on a clear summer day, cruising through the street and soaking in the beautiful day ahead of you.
[8]

Alfred Soto: If Miguel had sung a hook as stupid as this one in 2012, he would’ve used every bit of his considerable ebullience and I would’ve loved this shit. With Biebs, though, I suspect during a weed haze he punched the line on his phone, texted it to his collaborators, and said, “Figure it out.” 
[1]

Katie Gill: It’s “Toosie Slide!” This is literally just “Toosie Slide.” It’s 30 seconds designed solely to go viral on Tiktok (Bieber’s “I got my peaches down in Georgia”), repeated ad infinitum, with the rest of the song hastily built around those 30 seconds so it can be long enough for radio airplay. And those remaining two minutes and 30 seconds are a whole bunch of nothing. Daniel Caesar and Giveon are doing all the work here, but as the song is designed to make Bieber’s part go viral and solely Bieber’s part go viral, I can’t help but think they’ll be left out of the conversation entirely.
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2 Responses to “Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar & Giveon – Peaches”

  1. I would agree with Katie if the beat wasn’t far more “Hold On, We’re Going Home” than “Toosie Slide”

  2. Katie is so right, I totally did hear only that 20 second Bieber bit (without realizing it was a Bieber bit) in a TikTok video.

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