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.
My World 2.0 Review
by Andy Kellman