Like most people, it seems Justin Bieber comes to new music in his own sweet time. Don’t we all? Whether that music is Revolver, The Black Album, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, or — say — Beck’s 2014 album, Morning Phase — what matters is that people listen to the albums that real artists create and share.
We don’t all hear albums the second they drop. Many people take in new music when they are ready to hear and absorb it.
With that basic philosophy in mind, the snark hurled at Bieber by an entertainment trade in a tweet posted Tuesday was arguably unnecessary and elitist.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 9, 2015
It followed an innocuous, four-word post shared by Bieber on March 9, which read, “This @beck album is incredible.”
This @beck album is incredible
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) March 9, 2015
Known for his love of hip-hop and R&B, Bieber’s evidently widening listening repertoire is given context by the recent drop of the musically nuanced “Where Are Ü Now,” his co-written cut on the Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü album.
The song has been reviewed rapturously by many critics amid general, positive comment and has racked up some impressive stats.
Between February 23–March 2, it was the second most streamed track on Spotify globally, and the third highest in the U.S. in the same period, the Associated Press reported. While, from March 2–8, AP notes the track reached No. 9 on Spotify’s Top 10 Most Viral Tracks in the U.S.
Jack Ü’s album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart after it sold 14,000 in the week ending March 14, according to Nielsen Music.
As a result of the positive talk, there’s a good deal of optimistic anticipation about Bieber’s upcoming solo album — which he is reportedly working on with Def Jam Records founder and super-producer Rick Rubin — and the musical direction and influences it may reflect.
It’s very likely Bieber’s new found appreciation of Morning Phase is down to Kanye West’s déjà vu drama at this year’s Grammys, when the rapper-designer stormed the stage in a weird half-protest over Beck’s album of the year win.
West ranted to E! News afterwards, complaining, “I just know that the Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t gonna play with them no more.”
He added, “Beck needs to respect artistry, and he should’ve given his award to Beyoncé.”
Despite apologizing days later and admitting that “maybe it was potentially an album of the year,” West was blasted in a February Facebook post by Garbage singer Shirley Manson.
A later Facebook post shared by Manson earlier this month was previously thought to be a second slam of West. However, a rep for the Scottish songstress has since clarified to Us Weekly that is not the case.
Regardless of how Bieber came to Beck’s latest creative work, it is a very different musical reference for the singer and — possibly — an insight into his new music to come.
[Images via Getty /Instagram]