Track Review: Justin Bieber, 'Boyfriend'

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JUSTIN BIEBER
Boyfriend (2:52)
Producers: Mike Posner, MdL
Writers: Mike Posner, Justin Bieber, Mason Levy, Matthew Musto
Publishers: North Greenway Productions|Sony/ATV Tunes LLC (ASCAP)/Bieber Time Publishing|Universal Music (ASCAP)/Mason Levy Productions|WB Music Corp.|Warner Chappell Music Inc. (ASCAP)/Bear Trap Publishing||Songs of Universal Inc. (BMI)
RBMG/Island Def Jam


Rating: 82 out of 100


Justin Bieber sounds all grown up on his first non-holiday single since 2011's "Never Say Never," delivering some low-register raps that make his pip-squeaked vocals on "Baby" seem like they were recorded a decade ago. Lyrically, however, he's still got some growing up to do. "Swag, swag, swag on you / Chillin ' by the fire while we eatin' fondue," he raps in the opening verse, prompting unwelcome thoughts about whether "swag" has suddenly become a verb. Elsewhere, he promises his prospective paramour, "I could be your Buzz Lightyear / fly across the globe" and "I'ma make you shine bright / Like you layin' in the snow - brrr!" Despite the handful of lame couplets aside, "Boyfriend" is at least sonically polished enough to belong on a radio playlist with the Usher and Justin Timberlake songs that brought Bieber YouTube fame just three short years ago. In fact, the club-ready beat and guitar-plucked chorus recall Timberlake's most pivotal transition single, N Sync's "Girlfriend," While "Boyfriend" exists almost exclusively to give 12-year-old girls heart palpitations at the mere thought of being Bieber's fondue partner, the song is a promising sign of what could be a prosperous adult career for the 18-year-old.

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