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Justin Bieber gives fans reason to 'Believe'

Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 14:06

Justin Bieber

Believe

(Island)

Grade: B

Until now, Justin Bieber has been a pop star without much of a portfolio. But Believe, which to all intents and purposes is just his second album, is so meaty and satisfying, it proves that there's more than a teen idol under that crest of hair. Justin's got game, from "All Around the World," the sonically sensational dance imperative that opens the disc, to "Believe," the gospel-cloaked anthem that closes it. This is recording by committee. "Die in Your Arms," for instance, is credited to 11 (!) composers. And several guest stars drop by, with Drake doing the best job of integrating himself, as he does on "Right Here." It's difficult to gauge how Bieber's voice is changing as he grows because the tracks seem to have been recorded over a significant period of time. He sounds youngest, ironically, on the song with the most mature theme, "Catching Feelings." But Bieber's smooth, confident handling of the ballad "Fall" suggests he'll be with us for a while.

 

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