Justin Bieber surprised and delighted his fans last night when he dropped 11 new songs snippets on Instagram.
The 20-year-old singer didn’t stealth release a new album à la Queen Bey, but it’s a sign the Canadian’s 2015-slated album is well underway. In addition, manager Scooter Braun reveals this is only the tip.
Braun tweeted:”@justinbieber I see u giving them a little preview of the studio fun last night. There is so much more too!”
After Bieber blitzed his Instagram account with atmospherically lit glimpses of a studio from the mix room – the singer also tweeted each 15-second clip – around two hours later, he told his over 53 million Twitter followers: “I love music.”
1: Bieber offered no information about each of the 11 new song previews, with the exception of titling the first.
“Cold water” is a fluid, guitar-backed track with Justin’s velveteen vocals riding the flow.
Lyric flash: “‘Cause I got nothing nice to say” suggests the song is about shade.
2: The second clip is a midtempo and reminiscent of Chris Brown.
Lyric flash: “Live in the moment” (repeated).
3: A watery bed of keyboard pads with a syncopated beat underpins a Drake-esque slow-jam. We hear a male vocal that’s possibly Justin but may not be. If it is the Biebs, it’s a very different sound from previous.
Lyric flash: “You’re superstar you should be named after a planet dammit.”
Eat your heart out Yeezus!
4: This is an odd one. A dub beat, piano sounds mixed with electronica and gentle vocalizing from Bieber. This is a song to sit with.
Lyric flash: “Through Winter, Spring, Summertime/I’ll Fall with you /Take my hand we’ll bring each other round together now.”
5: Get in the club. Full-on, dark R&B backed by nervy drums, distressed Bollywood strings and the Biebs delivering hardcore vocals.
Lyric Flash: “”It doesn’t really matter at all/ I feel like me and you, girl, we had it all / I’m wishing on a star / Girl tell me where you are / How you been / I gotta tell you now / Or we’ll never speak again.”
6: And so to bed: We’re in Journals territory with loverman Bieber enticing some female with promises of – well – ya know.
Lyric flash: “It’s time for bed / And I know I could turn you on / Got something ’til the early morn’ / And I don’t know if you’re on the s**t I’m on.”
Who is though Biebs; who is?
7: We’re still in the bedroom here. This is like non-committed R&B. Piano, electronica, hand clicks with Justin crooning atop. It’s a bit nebulous.
But it could be a grower in the right setting…
Lyric flash: “”How I feel about you/ And all those things you put me through / Got no time to waste / Guess we really needed space.”
8: Bieber is sanging here and he does well to do so.
There’s an insane time signature, whip snare, creeping keyboard bass and eerie sonics. In short: progressive R&B. The track stops short of revealing the chorus and we hope there is one.
With an album gestation period that will end up a year plus, critics and fans will be expecting brilliant things from the singer.
The key? Ultimately, genres are irrelevant. A song’s power comes down to the hook.
Do what you want on the song until you get there Justin – but get there. Give the people their choruses.
Lyric flash: “Try to believe in something / It’s all or nothing.”
9: By far, our favorite. This is FYA.
An incessant beat with Justin delivering bags of personality and presence on vocals. It’s also reminiscent of Frank Ocean, which is a great, musical reference point for Bieber to note and build on for his (tour de force?) new album to come.
Both retro and future-sounding – more importantly – the song snippet leaves you gasping for more. A sign of a potential hit.
Lyric flash: “Ooh your love deserves it.” [Seriously, that’s all we got. Slightly indecipherable but sounds great.]
Lyric flash: “I’m trying to figure out but this is not as interesting / I shouldn’t say I’ll go/ How do I let her know / Don’t wanna lose control/ I think it’s time to tell her that I’m moving on.”
11: To finish his epic 11 song reveal, Bieber strips back to guitar. The midtempo love song benefits from direct lyrics and a promise of more unveiling of the singer’s interior.
Lyrics flash: “Your eyes change like the seasons / Your voice it makes me speechless / You know I met you for a reason.”
It’s interesting and healthy that Bieber is connecting with and updating fans on his musical progress.
Who knows what will be discarded, kept or changed by the time Justin is ready to show and tell his new album? And lets not forget he’s got a stack of collaborations in the kitty.
ICYMI: We can’t wait to hear what this wild, young icon brings to the table.