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The Critics Corner: Albums
My World 2.0
Justin Bieber- My World 2.0
Debut full-length a surprisingly good effort
Name: "My World 2.0"
Label: Island Def Jam
Release Date: March 23, 2010
My rating: 3.5 out of 5


Review written by: Spencer Abbott

Teenage pop act Justin Bieber has taken over the teen/tween/pre-tween scene lately and even though he's somewhat new, there is no doubt that you heard one of his hit songs. Now, I know what you're thinking, a sixteen year old, adorable kid, who sings bubblegum pop with just a dash of R&B; he's gotta be a product of the Disney factory, right? You'd actually be mistaken, Justin got his start on YouTube which is quickly becoming the breeding ground for new acts. He did covers of songs by Justin Timberlake and Chris Brown that got the attention of Scooter Braun, now his manager. He eventually got to meet his now mentor, Usher and was later signed to Island Def Jam with L.A. Reid.

His EP My World released in 2009, which gave birth to his hits "One Less Lonely Girl" and "One Time", was successful, and now in 2010 My World 2.0 is on the shelves. With ten songs, various musical appearances like Sean Kingston and Ludacris, you have to give Bieber and his producers props for a surprisingly good effort.

The album starts out with Bieber's latest single "Baby" which features Ludacris. The lyrics are catchy, and will most likely be stuck in your head all day due to the repetitive chorus of "Baby, baby, baby, oooh". The song starts out with a synthesizer and various "oohs" and "ohhs" from Bieber. A few seconds in the beat kicks in and Justin starts singing about his first love, and how they were always supposed to be together (what sixteen year old doesn't believe their first love will last forever?) but she broke his heart. I have to say that one of the only reasons to pay attention to the song and lyrics are the thirty seconds that Ludacris makes his cameo. It's sad to say that Ludacris outshines Justin on this track, but that's the case here and it can't be denied. The beat is catchy, fun to dance and easy to sing along in the car with friends. The lyrics though are seriously lacking originality and that can't go ignored.

The second track "Somebody to Love" again starts with the synthesizer and Justin's voice actually isn't as annoyingly high-pitched as in previous songs. It still contains the same nasally problem, auto-tuning, echoes, and the fades covered some pitch problems on the track. The lyrics are cute, and sure to make any tweens offer themselves over to be the one Justin can love. There are parts where the vocals are more like yelling than actual singing. Again the lyrics are overly repetitive as to make the track last longer than two minutes.

The next track “Stuck in the Moment” talks about a difficult relationship, that they both know is going to end eventually but neither party wants to admit that. It mentions several famous relationships that Justin compares and contrasts his to like Adam and Eve, Bonnie and Clyde, and Romeo and Juliet. It talks about everything they have being stuck in the moment and that there’s nothing they can do about it. The beat is a little different, a bit slower that some of the others. It is definitely one of the best and stronger tracks vocally on the album for Justin.

The following track “U Smile” is my personal favorite song.  The track again puts forward the relationship theme, about how he feels very strongly about the relationship and that he will do anything for the girl to make her happy.  His vocals are strong and the slow and soft piano/snare drum in the background gives it the perfect feel.

The fifth track “Runaway Love opens with a cool synthesizer-driven intro that catches your attention and almost off guard after the previous track. However, Justin's high-pitched vocal delivery might turn you away at first, but it's definitely a song worth listening as it is another strong track both lyrically and musical arrangement.  It's about searching for everywhere for love and not giving up until it's found. “Runaway Love” is one song I would recommend listening to if you are unfamiliar with his music.
“Never Let You Go” is much like previous songs on the album, featuring the same vocal problems before and it takes a lot to listen to the full song without tuning out. There's nothing particularly spectacular about it.

“Overboard” which features pop singer Jessica Jarrell is another song that the guest on the album seems to outshine Justin himself. The song is still cute and sweet though, something worth listening to if you're sad or upset. The beat is slower and the vocals are surprisingly good. The harmonies between Justin and Jessica are strong and really make the song.

Following “Overboard” is “Eenie Meenie” featuring Sean Kingston. This overly repetitive and dance heavy song is the weakest and does not fit with the overall composition of the album. Justin himself doesn't even come in the song until what feels like forever into the song and when he does, it makes Kingston’s over timed intro unnecessary and confusing.
“Up” and “That Should Be Me” are the last two, and two of the slower and best songs on the album. The vocals shine on both and the lyrics have some depth compared to the rest of the songs which sound like many young male pop songs out there.

For some people, “My World 2.0” isn’t anything special, but to a lot of teen/tween/pre-tween girls it is something that can easily swoon them most likely. Justin's voice still needs to mature a bit however and the nasal singing and synthesizer needs to go, but outside of that, this album is a good start and shows future potential.

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