Kanye West had his "G.O.O.D. Friday" series, in which he released a single from his label every Friday, starting in August 2010. Can we now similarly look forward to Justin Bieber album previews all month?
With his new tune, "Die In Your Arms," the barely legal pop juggernaut ramps up anticipation for his second album, "Believe," with the next in a series of pre-release singles. The first one, "Boyfriend," was a minimal sliver of futurist R&B indebted to Justin Timberlake and the Neptunes. But "Die In Your Arms" has a throwback filament glow that recalls the Jackson 5 and Motown at its most teen-friendly (which means -- it's really, really good).
"Believe" is out June 19, and if these two tracks are any indication, Biebs has hit that difficult sweet spot of maturing sonically and vocally without losing the doe-eyed charm of his early tween-demolishing singles. Plenty of recent teenage pop stars, from Miley Cyrus to Britney Spears, had a rougher go of making the transition from earnest innocence to a grown-up sexuality (maybe pop audiences are unjustly more forgiving of young men making that leap?). But taken together, these two songs sound true to where Bieber is right now an 18-year-old coming into his grown-up talents and attitudes, without putting on false airs of seriousness or subversion.
Assertive paparazzi might differ in their take though, as Bieber reportedly is under investigation after a scuffle with a photographer on Sunday in Calabasas.
He hits Staples Center Oct. 2-3 with his new rockabilly pompadour in tow. Is the world ready for Justin Bieber, the Adult? If it sounds as good as these early tracks do, we say yes.