Justin Bieber's second album My World 2.0 is to be considered a second part of his debut My World. It has been explained in interviews that it didn't make sense to force fans to wait over a year and a half between new releases, so instead the first album was split in two and released within approximately five months of each other. However, this is not just a continuation of the first. Justin Bieber is significantly more defined as an artist here. He appears as a genuinely talented singer of pure R&B-edged bubblegum pop.
Evolution of Justin Bieber's Sound
There is evolution here on model 2.0, and it is into a tighter, no filler definition of the sound of Justin Bieber. He has a sweet teen male voice in the classic tradition of young Michael Jackson, Donny Osmond, and the Hanson brothers. Like his predecessors, the pop songs he chooses to sing are laced with enough R&B to cast a net for the widest possible young audience. There is a swagger here in places that is never threatening but just enough to remind you that Justin Bieber is not a shrinking violet or automaton.
State of the Art in Contemporary Bubblegum
"Baby" is a gorgeous pop song consciously referencing teen idol pop of the past. However, the Ludacris rap helps place the song squarely in the present. "U Smile" lets Justin Bieber sway and croon. It is guaranteed to generate warm and fuzzy emotions in millions of young fans. However, it should not disappoint adults either. There is a clarity and resonance in Justin Bieber's young voice that would be the envy of most American Idol contestants. "Eenie Meenie" may initially turn a few listeners off with its reference to childhood rhymes, but it is an admirable stretch for Justin Bieber into the uptempo island pop of his elder, just turned 20, collaborator Sean Kingston.
All of these songs add up to giving us the state of the art in contemporary bubblegum pop. Just like in the past it is easy to disparage these tunes in their simplicity and lack of high-brow pretension, but it is just that which makes My World 2.0 such a refreshing experience. There is no significant filler here. If you are looking for a pure, engaging pop record, you can't do much better right now.
Top Tracks on 'My World 2.0'
- "U Smile"
- "Eenie Meenie"
- "That Should Be Me"
Justin Bieber Defines Himself as an Artist To Watch
My World 2.0 is a crucial moment for young Justin Bieber. With millions of teen and pre-teen fans watching, he could easily opt for more of the same or even stumble a bit with the release of ten more songs just five months after his first collection. That doesn't happen here, and My World 2.0 is solid, identifies him as a leader in teen pop of the moment, and makes Justin Bieber one artist we will be eagerly watching if we can see around the hordes of young fans also vying for a quality viewing spot.
Released March 2010 by Island Records.