Pop Review: "#thatPOWER" Will.i.am featuring Justin Bieber

There's nothing about Will.i.am's "#thatPOWER" that doesn't sound familiar: From the Justin Bieber-sung chorus that manages to reference both Chris Brown's "Beautiful People" and Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," to the chunky beat pitched just a few notes lower than the rapper/producer's previous hit "Scream & Shout," the song treads previously paved, heavily Auto-Tuned territory for all involved. The new single does, however, feature some entertaining attempts on Will.i.am's part to make couplets out of words that don't otherwise rhyme: "Who cares what the haters think/They hate on me cuz I'm doin' what they can't," he raps at one point. As a producer and the leader of the Black Eyed Peas, Will.i.am has flashed an effortless skill for creating far-reaching anthems, but for some reason hasn't found the right formula in his solo career. "#thatPOWER" may help sell a few extra thousand copies of his forthcoming "#willpower" album, but the track won't score any points for innovation.


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