Believe album review
Jen Chae

Analgesics come in different forms. For geeks, it's video games. Jocks rely on sports games. And for the female tween and teen demographic, Justin Bieber's third album does the job. "Believe" is like therapy for juvenile girls after a long, stressful day at school-- while the instrumentals and tunes calm the ears, the lyrics relieve the mind. It is everything a girl admires about the dreamiest high school crush, packaged in CD form. It is no surprise that the album, released last June, scored the biggest debut-week sales of the year at nearly 400 thousand copies. "Believe" serves as therapeutic to girls in many ways... Boy audiences? Not so much.

"Believe me, girl"

The album effectively targets the vulnerable female demographic who easily catch (and sadistically enjoy) severe cases of "weak in the knees". Most of its tracks exude a whimsical aura almost like that of a K-pop song-- a musical and lyrical attempt to escape from the pain that is reality. Unlike other playboys on the market such as 2chainz, Justin outlines a pure, untainted type of love and gives to fans promises of his adoration. The track "Catching Feelings" best exemplifies this: with phrases like "I just want to see you smile" to "When I'm with you I feel better", Justin instills in his audience a heightened sense of hope of the perfect relationship.

"Thought of You", a more upbeat track, makes you envision a high school football field. Think cheerleaders doing cartwheels with Justin center-field in a football jacket. He's walking towards you, serenading at the top of his lungs: "Girl, I'm in love with the thought of you". The album tickles romantic nerves that lie hidden in every girl.

Most popular guy in school

"Believe" is the epitome of ingenious marketing. Island Records successfully entices both old and new audiences by emphasizing Justin's already-acknowledged popularity. The album would not have the same effect without the featurings of only the coolest and most renowned artists on the market: Nicki Minaj, Ludacris, Drake and Big Sean. Although Nicki's eccentric voice adds some artistic value to the track "Beauty and the Beat", she deserves more credit for the degree of hype and fandom she brings. The real purpose of Nicki and Ludacris's appearances is clearly to prove that Justin is well-liked; he rolls with the elite in the industry. The album tactically and obnoxiously incorporates his top-dog acquaintances. As a result, Justin is redeemed as the ideal guy for high school girls to love: cute, charismatic and popular.


In his previous album, Justin always sang at the top of his lungs. This time around, Justin's style has noticeably changed: he's more suave and laid back. Track 2, "Boyfriend", is the best example of this. The song delivers shock value at first because it is a complete change from his teeny-bopper singles like "One Time" and "Baby". "Boyfriend" introduces a darker, sexier and manlier side of Justin: the melody plays in minor chords, the tempo is slower, pitch lower and the bass more pungent. In this way, the track attempts to unveil the fact that Justin is fully (and finally) ready to be your boyfriend.

You could have guessed the album's soaring turn-out solely judging by Justin's acclaimed reputation. As Canada's favourite boy and usher's protegee and personal bank, Justin couldn't have possibly bombed this album, even if it consisted of three lousy songs. But the album does contain note-worthy content serving to its own. "Believe" effectively targets the right demographic: anyone with the littlest sense of vulnerability to sappy whispers of sweet nothings. It can be seen as the young girl's analgesic in her attempt to escape from harsh realities, while ironically, aggravating her case of Bieber fever.


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