|Recording information: Boom Boom Room, Burbank, CA; Casa Mafia, Los Angeles, CA; Conway Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Doppler Studios, Atlanta, GA; Germano Studios, New York, NY; Icon Studios, Atlanta, GA; King of Kings Studio, Miami, FL; NH Studios, North Hollywood, CA; Platinum Sound Recording Studios, New York, NY; Short Bus Studios, North Hollywood, CA; The Ludaplex, Atlanta, GA; Triangle Sound Studios, Atlanta, GA.
|Within two months of release, My World went platinum and two of its singles hit the Top 20, making Justin Bieber an almost inescapable teen pop phenomenon. This ten-song disc, which follows its seven-song predecessor by just over four months, is intended to be the second half of his debut rather than a true follow-up. It's a shrewd ploy that benefits his insatiable following -- much of which could be into something else by 2011-2012 -- and, in turn, his sales. The two releases are certainly of a piece, filled with upbeat R&B-flavored pop songs with a few ballads that might be termed adult contemporary if the singer happened to be of age. Bieber makes all the right, charming moves for a teen, and he covers all the bases. The dance-pop songs are light on the ears yet memorable; the unrequited material sounds deeply felt; the ballads have all the necessary us-against-the-world teen-love dramatics (though the references in "Stuck in the Moment," featuring Bonnie & Clyde and Sonny & Cher among other doomed couples, make zero sense on a song voiced by a peppy 16-year-old in 2010). As with My World, everything is age-appropriate. "She says she needs a little company," sung with the slightest wink in the eye, is as racy as it gets, and even then, Bieber projects an image that is utterly harmless. ~ Andy Kellman