Music Review: “Under the Mistletoe”


https://i1.wp.com/www.israbox.com/uploads/posts/2011-10/1319748467_cover.jpgThis was another one of those albums released last year that I failed to buy and review. So this is the year for it! When Justin Bieber first announced this album, I rolled my eyes at first, but once I heard the first single, “Mistletoe,” I realized it was a very smart idea from his record label. They introduce Justin’s “new” voice (being that it’s deeper) to his fans before they present his next album, “Believe.” 

The album opened with “Only Thing I Ever Get for Christmas.” It was kind of an “eh” start to the album. Not the worst on the album, but definitely not his shining moment. The next song, however, is “Mistletoe,” which is surprisingly catchy. I think that’s where Justin found the perfect blend of R&B and Christmas classic. It’s probably not going to go down in history like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (although with Justin’s fanbase, it might very well do just that…), but it certainly is a must-listen on the album.

The following song is “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” which Justin sings with his mentor, Usher. I thought this could go either two ways: very classy and incredible, or crash and burn. Luckily it is one of the great songs on the album. Justin’s and Usher’s voices actually blend well together.

“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” is sort of a revamped version of the Christmas classic, and usually I’m not a fan of revamping classics, but this is actually done well. I can see little kids dancing to this around the Christmas tree. It’s nice to hear artists put their own take on originals sometimes, especially when they stay true enough to the original that it’s still similar to the old song.

The next song Justin did with Boyz II Men. It’s called “Fa La La.” I really really enjoyed this song. Justin wasn’t trying to go over-the-top and show off his sometimes lackluster vocals. This time he kept it mellow along with the guys from Boyz II Men. Together they created another R&B-flavored tune that is catchy and worth adding to your Christmas playlist.

The next song is the duet Bieber did with pop star, Mariah Carey. They “redid” her own Christmas classic, “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” and in a very not-so-clever way retitled it, “All I Want For Christmas Is You (SuperFestive!).” I admire that Mariah rerecorded her vocals on the song, however, besides the fact that Justin is singing the second verse and the choruses, it sounds almost exactly the same as the original. He needs to shake it up and bit and do a different take on it! Either way, the song is still amazing whether Bieber is on it or not.

The next song, “Drummer Boy,” is just stupid. He starts off with a more upbeat version of “Drummer Boy,” but then he breaks into a “rap,” that is just so unintelligent. I’m not hating on rap, but I don’t think it has a place in Christmas music. Busta Rhymes just adds to the stupid. This is probably the most throwaway track on the album. Save your ears the agony and skip this song.

Luckily the next song, “Christmas Eve” makes up for damage “Drummer Boy” did. Bieber returns to the R&B slow-jam Christmas song that worked so well for him on “Mistletoe” and “Fa La La.” It’s not an absolute standout, however it is a great addition to your Christmas playlist to play when you’re decorating the tree or making cookies.

“All I Want Is You” just might be my favorite song on the album. It’s another slow-jam, but with enough of a beat that it doesn’t bore you. I love it. Definitely take a listen to that one.

Justin took a left turn with “Home for Christmas” when he dueted with country trio, The Band Perry. The result is amazing. Their voices blend so well together. It’s got just a tiny hint of a country-twinge mixed with a beat. A nice mix of genres. I love it when artists from opposite genres collaborate like this!

Just sings “Silent Night” nicely, but the shaky falsetto makes me feel like I’m a school Christmas concert or Christmas Eve mass, not listening to a professional singer’s album. Not his best song.

The first bonus track, “Christmas Love,” is great. Catchy and smooth, something that’ll get stuck in your head and have you bopping around the house as you and your family spend the holidays together.

The second bonus track is “Fa La La” the a cappella version. I love this. With the harmonies that Boyz II Men are so well-known for, you really don’t need music. It’s so easy to get lost in their voices. If you love the original, check out this version. Great.

The next song isn’t technically a Christmas song, per se. It’s the charity single, “Pray,” he did back on his “My Worlds Acoustic” album. It’s a good song. Check it out. Probably doesn’t deserve a place on your Christmas playlist, though.

The last song on the album is “Someday at Christmas.” I didn’t realize how high Justin’s voice was until I heard this song, which was recorded a long time ago. I like it, though. It’s weird to see the cover art which shows a more mature Bieber with such a little voice.

After listening to the album I think it’s safe to say I misjudged the album. While some of the tracks are kind of throwaway tracks, the rest of the album captures the magic of Christmas perfectly. The slow-jams and the few Christmas classics on here are great. I really enjoyed the album. I think the cover looks nice, but doesn’t fully represent the spirit of Christmas that is present in (most) of the music. The cover seems flashy and a little too Hollywood. Regardless, this was a number one album for Bieber, so job well done! Bieber fans will want to grab a copy this holiday season!

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One comment on “Music Review: “Under the Mistletoe”

  1. […] Jessica Simpson 11. Christmas Is The Time…To Say I Love You – Katharine McPhee 12. Under the Mistletoe – Justin Bieber 13. Christmas Eve and Other Stories – Trans- Siberian Orchestra 14. American Idol: The […]

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