Justin Bieber wants to be your boyfriend, and he really, really wants you to know about it.
Justin Bieber celebrated his 18th birthday four weeks late this morning with the release of “Boyfriend” — his first “adult” single off the forthcoming “Believe.”
The club track, the whisper vocals, the repeated coo of “swag” all say Bieber wants to be a man. But he’s still clearly courting tweens (who would want to lose that precious market?). A few verses after an offer of “chilling by the fire while we eating fondue,” he says he’ll be “your Buzz Lightyear.” “Toy Story” references, well, they don’t exactly bring sexy back.
But Biebs “Boyfriend” is a calculated move. Co-written and co-produced by Mike Posner (of “Cooler Than Me” fame), the single half step forward. It’s meant to please old fans while letting new ears know he’s about to make the Justin Timberlake jump from teen idol to global hunk. Bieber needs to grow six inches first, but “Boyfriend” is a good start.
The song isn’t an obvious No. 1 — it’s mid-tempo and mellow. But it’s got a big hook pushed by a gentle acoustic guitar and some electro lounge beats, and Biebs buttery falsetto is smooth and cool. His attempts to rap still need a lot of work — his flow remains too Kris Kross kiddie. But as the first towards picking up JT’s crown, this is impressive.