The new Justin Bieber single is titled “Confident.” It’s just over four minutes long. But it’s not; not really. It’s about a minute long and the rest sounds like it’s been copied and pasted. And even in that single minute of original music, there is something less than nothing going on. Bieber isn’t singing so much as just whining and grunting. (For what it’s worth the video—embedded below—is largely an exercise in copy and pasting too.) It’s remarkable that for a pop star at his level that this is the best thing that could be concocted for him at a crucial juncture of his career, or indeed at any juncture at all.
No, I’m not a hater of Justin Bieber. The kind of records he’s been making have never been my bag, but I like pop-music, and if he was putting out good stuff he would deserve applause for it. Right now I feel bad for him. He’s nineteen years old, and has been on the celebrity treadmill for six years; i.e., since he was thirteen years old. At this point he likely doesn’t know up from down. He’s getting into trouble with the law, there’s drugs around, there’s crazy driving, and some people have him on a death watch. He’s at the point in a child star’s career when the child has abruptly become an “adult” and everything’s up for grabs, and there might be nothing left of him in a couple of years, even if he’s still alive. He’s clearly not nearly as smart as his contemporary Miley Cyrus (and even she is not quite as smart as she thinks she is) and he appears to be just careening into chaos right now, with poor guidance from whoever he takes guidance from.
Justin Bieber obviously has some real talent as a performer or he wouldn’t have gotten where he’s gotten. The talent is being flushed on horrible and quasi-evil records like “Confident.” The best advice anyone could give to him is this: If you consider yourself a singer, that this is your talent and reason-for-being, then find something to sing that deeply moves your own heart and brings some kind of goodness instead of just adding to the noise and derangement in the world. And if that means Bieber needs to make a break with the people currently guiding him, so be it. He has nothing to lose. On the current track, he’s going to lose everything. Better to turn the page of his own volition and at least have a chance of becoming content within himself. You need to start acting confident before you become confident.
Below is the video for “Confident” by Justin Bieber. I watched it so you don’t have to.