Justin Bieber: Under the Mistletoe Album Review

Rachel Labarre

Justin Bieber has been relentlessly posting Facebook and Twitter updates about his upcoming Christmas album, “Under The Mistletoe.” On Nov. 1, it hit iTunes and skyrocketed to the No. 2 album within less than 24 hours.

This album was full of surprises and I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised.

My favorite song in this album was definitely “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” My jaw dropped and a smile spread across my face as soon as the song began due to the upbeat tempo that made me just want to stand up and dance along. He added a lot of himself into it by shouting out words – knowing that he had fun singing it made it more fun for me to listen to.

Bieber featured many different artists in this album, including Boyz II Men, Usher, Busta Rhymes, The Band Perry, and the beloved Mariah Carey. Carey joined Bieber in a duet of her original song, “All I want for Christmas Is You.” Carey’s version of the song starts out slow, so I was shocked when after about thirty seconds of slow music, the song jumped right into a buoyant and exciting tune. One positive aspect of this song was the beautiful harmonization of Bieber’s voice with Carey’s.

Bieber featured some beautiful slow songs, as well. “Mistletoe” was released as a single on Oct. 16 – listen to it once and I promise, you will not be able to stop singing it. Bieber’s slower songs, such as this one, exhibit his post-puberty voice. Finally, he will stop being ridiculed for being too young because it sure doesn’t sound like he’s a kid anymore.

You can never go wrong singing a classical Christmas song with Usher. “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts)” showed Bieber’s impressive range. Usher and Bieber’s voice truly compliment each other – Usher’s is rich and deep, Bieber’s is slightly higher and more melodic. I enjoyed the quiet music in the background – it felt like I was sitting at a restaurant with a live pianist.

“Drummer Boy” featuring Busta Rhymes was probably the biggest shocker of the album. I was taken aback when suddenly this somber song transformed into a rap song. Who new the Biebs could rap? I must say that I felt that Busta Rhymes was overkill. His portion of the song was practically hard-core rap, which most of Bieber’s fans are probably not a fan of. In addition, maybe its simply because I don’t know this song too well, but I really couldn’t understand what he was saying for the first half of the song.

I know I’ll be adding “Silent Night” to my bedtime playlist. It was the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard Bieber sing. His voice flowed from note to note and the few notes played by the piano added the perfect touch. This song featured Bieber the best and showed his true talent.

In 2009, Bieber performed “Someday At Christmas” for Obama and thousands of people. When I clicked on this song (part of the bonus album) to listen to it, I was very excited to hear him sing it in his new puberty struck voice. However, as soon as I heard it start I realized that it was him singing back in 2009. I was sitting there with goose bumps on my arms and a smile from ear to ear, anticipating his mature voice jump in and take over.

Then at 2:53 minutes, the song ended and 2011 version Justin was nowhere to be heard – I felt a little let down. But, I loved his performance of the song when I heard it in 2009, and I still love it now.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with Bieber’s ability to spice up traditional songs.There were a few that I wasn’t in love with such as “Only Thing I ever Get for Christmas” and “Fa La La,” but before listening to this album I thought he was making a huge mistake – releasing a Christmas album, especially two months prior to the holiday.

Even if you aren’t a fan of Bieber, I highly recommend this album – listening to your favorite holiday songs is sure to change your view on this artist. Rating: 4.5 out of 5