Justin Bieber is telling his fans to Believe on his spankin’ new album, out Tuesday (June 19). The release is a bona fide something-for-everyone pop album, full of fist-pumping dance tracks, sweet love ballads and swaggy-to-the-max R&B ditties.
The singer began teasing the release in late 2011, and soon after, hit the studio with everyone from Kanye West to will.i.am to Taylor Swift, leaving fans wondering just what the album would end up sounding like. And while none of those tracks made the final cut, what did paints a complete picture of the 18-year-old’s current musical motives. And they are? Well, to get you dancing to bumping beats and swooning for him while he pines over potential love on slower jams.
MTV News has rounded up all the vital information to get you up to speed on today’s album release. Also, be sure to tune in on tonight for MTV’s “Bieber Live,” where Justin will dish about his new album at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT. Here is your Believe cheat sheet:
How It Came Together
When his manager, Scooter Braun, stopped by the MTV News offices last week, he revealed that it was quite a lengthy process to make the album, and one that was all-hands-on-deck for the singer and his team. Over the course of making the album, Bieber cooked up hundreds of tracks over an 8-month period.
“He and I are both very competitive, and he’d always look at me and go, ‘This is the make-it-or-break-it album, and you got to push me. You got to tell me if I’m not good enough, and I might argue’ … so I really, really pushed him, and we took this album really seriously,” Braun said. “But I also had to give room to grow. Sometimes I’d put him in writing sessions for two weeks, and we’d get one song out of it, and it was just because he had to find that place for himself and that music. And as the process went on, he really started hitting his stride. … And I think everyone has a different favorite, but the one common thread is you don’t dislike any songs.”
With 13 songs on the Believe standard edition and 16 on the deluxe, there was an exact science to decide what would end up making it and getting put out into the world.
“How do you narrow it down to pick?” Braun said. “You start to look at songs that fulfill a need, but keep an album flowing, so every song has to make sense, they have to fit well … Sometimes there were two songs that we loved, but they fulfilled the same purpose, [so we had to say,] ‘But this is the better of the two, so we’re gonna choose this one.’ ”
Braun even dissected a bit how those songs piece together to make the complete Believe puzzle. “Songs like ‘Fall’ and these kind of love ballads that throw back to the earlier stuff … and then you have songs like ‘As Long As You Love Me,’ they’re still Justin, but it’s a growth. Songs like ‘Boyfriend,’ that shocked a lot of people, but showed growth. And then you have songs like ‘Catching Feelings,’ that’s really like an old-school Stevie Wonder type of throwback.”
While Bieber hit the studio with many potential collaborators, the ones that made the album really help him shine. Ludacris once again hooked up with Bieber for club banger “All Around the World,” a definitely more mature record than their “Baby.” But, the hip-hop swag doesn’t end there. He’s got Big Sean on “As Long As You Love Me,” Drake for the very Drake-sounding “Right Here,” and finally Nicki Minaj for the four-on-the-floor party starter “Beauty and the Beat.”
In addition to signing up A-list collaborators to work on some of the tracks on the album, Bieber also sought out the help of some of the brightest producers in the game. His mentor, Usher, gets an executive producer credit on the album, overseeing it all. But, it’s tunes that the Messengers, Max Martin, Mike Posner and Mason Levy, Rodney Jerkins, Babyface, Hit-Boy and Diplo all helped produce that truly the show the range of pop styles encapsulated on the album.
The Bottom Line
In the end, the album is for his fans. And the last song on the standard edition of the album, its title track, was written specifically with them in mind. “Then you have songs like ‘Believe,’ that’s the new voice, but he’s singing directly to the fans and telling him what he’s been through the last couple years and how they got him through it,” Braun said. “So, I think there’s something for everyone. He’s not defined by genre.”
Have you picked up Believe yet? Share your thoughts in the comments!