Justin Bieber’s new single “All Bad” has stormed to No.1 on iTunes US and over 40 charts around the world since its Sunday, midnight release.
The US chart is the most coveted of all the territories, largely due to America’s cultural and musical reach, but also the sheer size of its demographic.
In other words; you got to shift some to move some.
At the time of press, Eminem’s “Monster feat. Rihanna” nestles just below Bieber at No. 2, Lorde’s “Royals” embeds at No. 3, while One Republic “Counting Stars,” and Pitbull “Timber feat. Ke$ha” take the next positions.
Occupying the No. 1 spot will undoubtedly be a satisfying moment for Bieber after what has been — even by his standards — a helluva week.
After blazing through Brazil and touching off headlines that were almost heroically bad, Beiber’s exploits included a truly farcical exit from a certain kind of establishment, a charge for “vandalism,” show dramas, and crowd control dramas which trailed the teen to Argentina, where unruly fan behavior saw the singer asked to leave his hotel.
Things peaked Sunday night, when Bieber’s food poisoning forced him to stop his Buenos Aires, Argentina concert just seven songs in.
A personal apology onstage cut no ice with some of the naturally disappointed 45,000 plus River Plate stadium audience.
Currently moving through the South America leg of his tumultuous Believe world tour, earlier Bieber took to Twitter to express his delight at his iTunes victory, writing:
IM so proud :) — Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) November 11, 2013
It’s against this meta context that the relationship topic of “All Bad” finds wider meaning and could be read (if you ignore the Taylor Swift angle) as a conversation between the singer and the media.
A more direct addressing of Bieber’s unprecedented year will arrive on Christmas Day for about a week [unless that changes] with the Jon M. Chu-directed movie-docu, Believe.
Until then, “All Bad” is the sixth outing from Bieber’s weekly journey through the many faces of love and its flipside. With “Heartbreaker,” “All That Matters,” Hold Tight,” “Recovery,” and “Bad Day,” it could have been seen as indulgent. But what these song demonstrate is why artists will never run of ways to mine the spectrum of the human heart. It’s limitless, because it’s entirely subjective.
Here at IQ we think “All Bad” is the most mature of the Journals to date, and that doesn’t diminish the rest.
On the song Justin offers equal parts earnest, pleading, pointed lyrics with a mature, breathy vocal delivery.
“It’s another, if it ain’t one thing / Instigators, like pouring fire on propane / The wrong thing, they be worried about / Ooh, you know females / And how they like to run their mouths,” he sings in the first verse.
On the chorus,”They try to get at me (They try to get at me) / Behind your back (your back, your back) / Tryin’ to tell me that I’m just like the others / But I ain’t all bad / No, no, I ain’t all bad / All bad, all bad (x2) / I might make you mad, so mad / My bad, no, I ain’t all bad.”
The topline is back-dropped by a rolling, tribal percussive beat and a movie-like soundscape that isn’t as tightly bound to R&B as previous singles. One of the most gorgeous parts in the track are the piano and Rhodes echo. The use of octaves and a simple recurring motif adds effective, liquid layering.
With a deserved No.1 and the faithful bringing the support, it seems a certain Canadian teen finally has something to smile about.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) November 12, 2013