Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before this article can start, please make all of your Bieber jokes and/or gushing before you begin to read.
-The Other Irish Mann
Justin Bieber is like any other run of the mill pop artist; light, fluffy, and easy to get a hit single or two. Yes, one can tell he has gone too much beyond sales to be called “run of the mill,” but that’s more or less a sign of how the music demographic is changing to a younger audience. But, that leads to so many problems.
One of which being a history once very reminiscent of changing of the millennium pop stars (Brittany Spears, Backstreet Boys, etc.) to modern Disney-tech (The Johoes, Miley Cyrus, etc.). But, what makes Justin Bieber such a phenomenon is something that somewhat different; he is a discovery of the internet. Yes, out of all the singers, out of all the talented musicians, he is the representation of the younger Youtube generation. So, in every respect he could be called a representation of a generation, but that’s the problem, I have no bloody clue why! There is simply no substance to the notion.
When one thinks of “representation of a generation” they think of Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, or somebody who actually contributed something positive to the development of music as a whole–or at least their respective genres. That’s where the Bieber argument gets tricky, no, his albums aren’t terrible, he does release”pop songs” in all of its whistling-catchy glory, but there is no particular reason why I would give a crap.
Let me explain, when a musician releases anything–albums, singles, etc.–typically those musicians and records go in either the “positive contribution” pile or “the negative contribution” pile. But, no matter ones perspective on what’s positive or negative, everything in music shapes the community in one way or another. That’s where the “Bieber Theory” comes into play. He is part of that rare .0001 percent who really makes no contribution to the genre aside from being a big hit. But, really, that’s more disappointing than having a bad musician! At least with a bad musician, one can claim that they enjoy the way the musician presents their image. But, with Bieber, it feels more like a bloody fad.
Yes, I suppose fads have been a huge part of the industry, whether or not they be guilty pleasures or if they are genres that have a legitimately profound impact on the music scene for decades. But, with this, he doesn’t even feel like he has any personality! Hell, even glam rockers and family pop bands had personality! With this, it feels like the same thing that the industry has been giving for the last six or seven decades; a pretty face, a catchy tune, and the hope that it will stick. Well good job, Universal/Island records, you got Bieber to stick more so than he deserved.
This wouldn’t be bugging me so much except Bieber makes no lasting impression. We, as the public, are fixated with him so much because we know so little about his personality. We scour the paparazzi archives and the TMZ‘s so we can find out as much about him as we can. For us, he’s the private pop musician, for Island records, he’s a safe bet. It means more record sales as a whole.
Yes, he is a product of the most innovative medium of the last 30 years. Yes, he releases par pop albums and catchy singles. Considering that, he should be so much more memorable. But, what he settles for artistically are light, fluffy works that have no weight to them. I’m tired of hearing faceless boy bands/pop stars in general giving pop music a dumb, unintelligent image. Especially since it has been proven time and time again that pop can be a smart, risque’ genre.
So, to Mr. Bieber, you are bollocks. No, not because you are bland and pointless, but rather you refuse to take a stand in the name of any potential innovation or uniqueness you can create. When it comes down to it, I don’t care that you have such a temporary weight in the industry, but I do care that it insults my intelligence. I do care that their are extremely talented and intelligent musicians that have never had a top 40 album, but you do. It bugs me that you have become such a pop culture phenomenon, but you’re riding off of two or three songs. Most of all, however, it bugs me that you don’t have the context of lifestyle that a truly great lyricist possesses. Music with substance is music that has come from pain, triumph, and most of all, connection on a deep level. Music like yours is doing what every pop stereotype has ever done, it’s light, dumb, but most of all, forgettable.
Thanks for reading everybody and as Always…..
LONG LIVE GOOD MUSIC!!!!