April 20, 2021 | Writer: Eric Reyes
It’s astounding to see acts from your youth grow up with you. And I don’t just mean in terms of the body. Justin Bieber has emerged from the pop idol mill with an impressively mature sound and style.
His latest single, ‘Anyone’ feels very contemplative. Without sounding as though it’s an adolescent pining after their first love, the track imparts a feeling of real connection and intimacy. The constant direction of attention and focus back on the listener feels earnest.
Where this offering diverges from the norm, is that while there is great importance placed on the focus of this sentiment, there is also a great deal of inner reflection. These feelings are treated as unique, yes because the listener is unique or supposed to feel unique, but also because the performer has looked within and found that they were formed by this relationship, the good and the bad. Laying out in no uncertain terms what someone means to you is a delicate proposition, one that can easily fall into the saccharine formula of most male-driven pop music. Here, likely well aware of that, Justin Bieberthrows caution to the wind and finds a single thread to string these contemplative emotions together.
The mix here is very subtle, forgoing overt, crystalline electronica that tries to fill gaps between purposefully vague lyrics. It is soft, it is keeping time, it is supporting the emotional tone without demanding its own place. It works in tandem with the lyrical content and while it rises to greater prominence at the climax, it bows out at the end to allow the vocals to ring out bright and clear. I was sold, and found myself playing it over and over, not feeling like I was being fed a line to make me feel something. I was being told the truth by someone who hopes we believe.
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