Justin Bieber had more than just his “Confident” music video on his mind when it premiered yesterday, namely the small matter of a legal surrender in Toronto.
But the show must go on.
And the “Confident” video does exactly that with contemporary, compelling cool, as Bieber eats up the screen.
The dub track, which features a too short excite from Chicago’s Chance The Rapper, was released as the last single from the 19-year-old’s weekly Music Mondays series before his Journals collection debuted in the last week before Christmas.
The Colin Tilley-directed video (“U Smile,” “All That Matters“), sees Bieber in full-on Alpha superstar mode as he sees girl, pursues girl, lays a cheesy line on girl, then zeroes in on girl to seal the deal with a movie kiss.
Interestingly lit – a Tilley signature – it’s a 2014 take on Michael Jackson’s iconic “The Way You Make Me Feel,” complete with silhouetted male dance break, amid moody sunset and blue backdrops.
So that’s the storyboard.
In between, there’s great choreography, interesting styling for the Biebs – gold chains, drop-crotch pants, and leisure cardigan – while his hair and velvet voice doing most of the heavy lifting – a now familiar muse Cailin Russo who acts and looks terrific, a funny interlude with Chance The Rapper “and she just learned to twerk,” and a vibey, slow motion party scene.
“I’d like to Takis to you on the phone,” is obviously the stand out cheese moment but it’s also humorous and stops the video from taking itself too seriously. Always a good look.
Nice camera work and edits from Tilley moves well with “Confident’s“ pace, lyric, and mood, climaxing with Bieber’s — “So can I get your number now?” — as he and Russo make out at the end. The video showcases, excuse the pun, a confident helmer in step with an artist he knows well.
The music video debuted on BET’s “106 and Park” amid all sorts of non-musical drama for Bieber. Just for a change.
After he was spotted leaving Panama’s main airport – the destination he fled to with new gal pal model Chantel Jeffries, after he was arrested for a suspected DUI along with singer and close buddy, Khalil Sharieff, in Miami Beach last Thursday during what police described as an illegal street drag race – it was thought Bieber was heading back to Los Angeles with his manager Scooter Braun.
Braun, mentor Usher, Bieber’s mother Pattie Mallette, and a few friends joined him in Punta Chame’s sports resort for what appears to have been a crisis summit after Miami.
The next day Justin was seen being escorted by a line of police through a mob of reporters and fans to turn himself in at a Toronto police station, so he could be charged with assault over an alleged incident involving a Toronto limousine driver late December.
California lawyer Howard Weitzman released a statement last night of Bieber’s innocence in the matter, but inevitably Toronto did fraught up immediate enjoyment of a splendid video.
There’s no hiding for Bieber now, following Universal Music Group chief Lucian Grainge’s unprecedented outing of the singer as needing “help” and an “intervention,” an exponentially signature-gathering deportation petition, and mounting legal challenges.
But, from a purely musical, visual perspective, the “Confident” video premiere came, saw, and conquered.
That Bieber did so while sick is both the tragedy and the triumph. Imagine where he could be right now if he was well.
(Photo: “Confident” video screenshot)