Friday, June 3rd, 2022

Justin Bieber ft. Don Toliver – Honest

To a fault…


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Honestly? Forgettable. 

Taylor Alatorre: Trinity, testimony, matrimony — for whatever reason, Bieber drops more explicit invocations of Christian theology on this Lyrical Lemonade joint than on his plastic gospel with Chance the Rapper. They work well here because they’re so casual and inconspicuous, lending an air of profundity to the profane without going overboard with God-in-the-bedroom theatrics. It helps that the second adjective he reaches for is “modest,” which, though not meant in the strict Biblical sense, helps set the stage for the lowest-key lead single of the Bieb’s career.

Harlan Talib Ockey: Modern Bieber at his worst: awkward lyrics, Christian proselytizing, and obtrusive, overproduced beats that he doesn’t sound confident with in the least. Don Toliver is also there.

Al Varela: This sucks. I thought I was learning to accept Bieber after his Justice era turned out to be mostly decent thanks to Jon Bellion co-writes and surprisingly good hooks. Turns out he desperately needs Jon Bellion to keep him from being his true cringy self. Everything bad you can say about “Yummy” you can say about this song. “You get spicy I like that cajun on you/On occasion that’s your testimony” gave me such a viscerally bad reaction the first time I heard it. The beat that sounds like it’d be the worst song on Polo G’s last album doesn’t help. Poor Don Tolliver doesn’t know what the hell to do with it. This feels like a long-overdue favor with an over-budget music video produced on the assumption that Bieber would make it a hit off of name recognition alone. But no one cares. Because it sucks.

Ian Mathers: I mean, it’s not shocking that Bieber can do a basically competent if totally charmless hook. For the bit where Toliver shows up it’s easy to wish the “ft.” balance was reversed. You know what, I’m about to say it: I didn’t care for Timbiebs.

Andrew Karpan: A repeated muse continues to inspire Bieber. So continues his abstractly fascinating odyssey of chronicling his experience of true love. What excites me about another album of this material is that it would make it a trilogy, which is already more albums than Sufjan Stevens was able to dedicate to a theme. What doesn’t excite me are the icy cold trap drums that announce this overly smooth celebration of fidelity, which comes loaded with what sound like literal wooshing sounds. This gives it some of the menace of a Migos record, while somehow being dedicated entirely to the subject of not telling fibs. Perhaps next, he will give us an R&B ballad about her commitment to recycling.

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One Response to “Justin Bieber ft. Don Toliver – Honest”

  1. don toliver’s “HEY JUSTIN B” is also exquisitely bad

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