Justin Bieber and Cody Simpson have finally unveiled their debut, acoustic duet “Home To Mama.”
The 20-year-old Canadian and 17-year-old Australian have rolled out their first song from their forthcoming duets album via Fahlo, an app that accesses exclusive messages and videos from artists.
Earlier Tuesday, Simpson teased the imminent song release with social posts tagging the Biebs, writing,
“Aye @justinbieber you wanna give them a little something later today?” with an Instagram picture of himself and Justin, guitars in hand in front of a night-lit log cabin.
After the single dropped, Justin tweeted, “For the fans… #mybeliebers.”
“Home To Mama” finds the two artists crooning over a generic, bluesy guitar riff, strongly reminiscent of John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change” single from his 2006 studio album, Continuum.
Cody takes the lead from the first verse to first chorus before Justin takes over.
“I don’t work when it’s easy, I put in work when it’s hard / Girl I never believed in love until I had yours / This is more than a season and I’m not just fun / I’m not afraid to tell you / That you’re the one,” he sings into a pre-chorus.
“The one I wake up thinking ’bout / The one I can run to when I’m feeling down / Life is all good when you’re around / Girl, nobody from the past is beating you right now.”
The pleasant enough chorus kicks in:
“Cause I’ll take you home to mama / Let you meet my friends / ‘Cause you don’t come with drama / So I want you ’til the world ends.”
“You’re way more than worth it / But I don’t feel like I deserve it / You got the pieces / You’re my kind of perfect.”
Justin then repeats the first verse lyric more soulfully than Cody, with a slight twist on the pre-chorus beginning with “I’m the one you wake up thinking ’bout,” before repeating the same bridge lyric into the second chorus.
At this point, the texture changes as Justin and Cody segue into the call-and-answer part. The “Baby” singer scats vocals showcasing a smooth falsetto, while Cody copies his runs on electric guitar.
The review: “Home To Mama” is an unremarkable, gentle, camp-fire love song that doesn’t sound like a single and underwhelms.
Its strengths are Cody’s guitar performance (he previously revealed he is the main guitarist on the album) and Justin’s intimate, gossamer vocals — which are beautiful.
Its biggest weakness are the lyrics, which do not connect as personalized, unique or visual enough to propel the listener on an emotional or conceptual journey.
That said, repeat listens improve the experience. So the song may be a grower.
It would be advantageous for Justin and Cody to open up writing sessions to professional songwriters or older artist(s)/producers, who can help the duo craft more age-appropriate, sparky material.
Justin and Cody’s talents aren’t in doubt, but song concepts and dynamics will need to be stronger than this out-of-the-gates outing on “Home To Mama” to pull in anyone but die-hard fans for the album to come.
For the Fahlo app, head to Apple’s App Store.
[Images via Instagram and Fahlo.]