Review Summary: A release that seems as though the only reason for its existence is to meet a quota.
After the success of his debut EP My World
, Justin Bieber proceeded to milk the “My World” name for as much as he could. Naming his debut album My World 2.0
, and then subsequently putting out both a remix album and acoustic album of the songs on said debut, it appears as though Bieber’s sophomore effort Believe
is set to follow in the same path with the announcement of Believe 2.0
, and the release of Believe Acoustic
These acoustic renditions really only seem to have been recorded for the sake of capitalizing on the original content of Believe
. Only eight songs were selected to be covered out of the 13 tracks on Believe
, and the songs chosen to be covered acoustically were very poor decisions. Songs like “Beauty and a Beat”, “All Around the World”, and “She Don’t Like the Lights” fare poorly in the acoustic format because they were originally composed as electronic dance anthems written with partying in mind. Just when Bieber had shown potential in the dance-pop field on Believe
, he has zapped those same songs of all their energy. Songs like “Boyfriend" and “As Long as You Love Me" that were built as love songs to begin with - and already contained some acoustic elements as well - don't feel as out of place here, as they don’t go against their original purpose and do work appropriately in the more serious context of acoustic music.
Though the main issue is that Bieber doesn’t make any efforts to do something new, interesting, or inventive with these songs by utilizing the acoustic format to his advantage. He merely just strips these songs down and puts no real unique spin on them to help them adjust to an acoustic skin better. There’s nothing inspired about the instrumental arrangement either. While the original songs were layered and succeeded mainly through well-done production, these versions feel inappropriate being as bare as they are here. Bieber’s never-wavering serious tone that he consistently keeps throughout the album - even on the tracks that are meant to be fun-loving party anthems - also leaves much to be desired in terms of mood variation, and ultimately leaves Believe Acoustic
feeling like a pointless and dull exercise in bland promotion, and nothing more.
The four tracks included that are not acoustic versions are a live version of "Fall", and three brand new tracks from Bieber. Being the only live track on the album, "Fall" is nothing particularly special and really doesn't seem to belong. The track is only worth mentioning because of how it serves as sort of an abrupt transition out of the acoustic songs and into the three new tracks that end the album. The three new songs are nothing in the way of remarkable either. They don't show any growth for Bieber, and despite being new material, all three actually sound more like outtakes than anything.