Justin Bieber: Under the Mistletoe
Justin Bieber delivered an early Christmas gift to fans last year with the release of his first holiday album. While many might have noticed that the singer traded his signature “Bieber do” for a more mature cut, the teen idol also lowered his voice a notch (unless auto-tune is fooling us).
Indeed, JB is sounding more and more like his mentor, record-label owner Usher. This R&B king even joined Justin in “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).” Though the song unexpectedly features an electric guitar, this and other modern touches only add to the charm of this holiday classic.
The Canadian-born singer recorded holiday standards with other prestigious artists too. Mariah Carey appears in “All I Want for Christmas Is You” while rapper Busta Rhymes contributes to a rendition of “Drummer Boy.”
Justin keeps it clean for most of the album, as he usually does. Exceptions include inviting a special girl under the mistletoe in “Mistletoe” and telling a girl to “warm him” with her love on “Christmas Love.” Generally, though, Bieber’s lyrics are wholesome enough for all ages.
JB will score points with a skeptical older crowd with his Jackson 5-reminiscent remake of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” But whatever their objections to Bieber, listeners will appreciate his effort at a well-balanced album. He raps, hip-hops, and now, apparently, Justin Bieber does country. The Band Perry joins in a heartwarming yet amusing interpretation of “Home This Christmas.”
While he certainly let loose with creative manipulation of traditional tunes – “Silent Night” is perhaps the only song without a guest-star, synthesizers, electric guitars, or jingle bells – Bieber did include a few original tracks. Among them, “Mistletoe” is a catchy melody that instantly gained popularity as a single, and “Pray” has been well-liked since its first release in early 2011.
Not earth-shattering by any means, Bieber’s holiday debut is still a big hit with his loyal fans. This album is all Christmas cheer, and it’s contagious.