Song Of The Day

Justin Bieber: A Pop Phenomenon, Considered

Justin Bieber i i

hide captionCanadian teen idol Justin Bieber wears his freshly broken heart on his sleeve in "Baby."

Courtesy of the artist
Justin Bieber

Canadian teen idol Justin Bieber wears his freshly broken heart on his sleeve in "Baby."

Courtesy of the artist

Wednesday's Pick

  • Artist: Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris
  • Song: "Baby"
  • CD: My World 2.0
  • Genre: Pop

On Wednesday, Morning Edition is launching a new feature that explores popular music and the cultural phenomena surrounding it. Click the "Listen to the Story" link above to hear music writer Maura Johnston and Jay Smooth (of Illdoctrine.com) discuss Justin Bieber, the Twitter black belt who's taking over the pop landscape — and possibly the rest of the world.

Canadian teen idol Justin Bieber's rise to prominence hasn't just been about his somewhat-obsessive tweeting and the devotion of his young female fans; he's also been assisted by more than a few catchy songs from today's most prominent pop savants. His current single, "Baby," from his chart-topping album My World 2.0, is a slickly peppy bit of R&B that wears its freshly broken heart on its sleeve. Along the way, it neatly accomplishes the trick of tugging at the sympathies of Bieber's most besotted fans.

Masterminded by Christopher "Tricky" Stewart and Terius "The-Dream" Nash — who also helped birth hits like Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" and Rihanna's "Umbrella" — "Baby" is an up-tempo lament about Bieber's rejection at the hands of someone he describes as his first love. The 16-year-old's still-young voice, assisted by a slight gloss of AutoTune, addresses the young lady who jilted him with pleas punctuated by "oohs" that function as a convincing representation of heartbreak. (In a sort of male-bonding exercise, the Atlanta MC Ludacris drops in for a similarly wistful verse about his own experiences in the first-love trenches.) That Bieber will be OK by the time the song ends is a given; his army of devoted fans and steely unflappability will see to that.

Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.

Purchase Featured Music

My World 2.0

Purchase Music

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • Album: My World 2.0
  • Artist: Justin Bieber
  • Label: Island
  • Released: 2010
 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Song Of The Day