Justin Bieber’s New Song Is Better Than You Were Probably Expecting It to Be

Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 7 2013 2:32 PM

Justin Bieber’s New Song Is Better Than You Were Probably Expecting It to Be

181672957
Justin Bieber may convert some non-Beliebers with his new song, "Heartbreaker."

Photo by Nicky Loh/Getty Images

In a Brow Beat post from last year, Jane Hu offered her picks of essential Justin Bieber tracks for the uninitiated, from his first hit, "Baby," to the more recent, 'N Sync-flavored offering "Boyfriend." Hu also made a strong case for the appeal of Bieber's lyrics as refreshingly "plainspoken and frank." Still, for those, like myself, who have thoroughly resisted jumping on the Bieber bandwagon, nothing in his oeuvre thus far could convince us to take a chance on the baby-faced pop star.

Perhaps, that is, until now. His newest single, "Heartbreaker," may be the strongest case yet for Bieber as a mature performer who can appeal to adults as well as he does the under-18 set. Bieber seems to be taking a cue from the moody stylings of Drake, with an introspective, slow-burning R&B song that, like much of Drake's output, sounds as though it was beamed here straight from the '90s. The singer implores the object of his affection not to call him a "heartbreaker" because his "heart's breaking." And while it's hardly groundbreaking stuff, it is catchy, and Bieber's vocals sound stronger than ever before. 

Advertisement

The singer is also following in the footsteps of Kanye West, at least when it comes to self-promotion: He will be dropping a new song every week leading up to his new album. As difficult as this is for me to admit, maybe us Bieber hold-outs actually have more to look forward to.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 21 2014 2:00 PM Colin Farrell Will Star in True Detective’s Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.