I did it. I finally did it, I listened to a Justin Bieber song, two of them actually. I felt a little nauseous, light headed and clammy while doing so but I'm guessing that had much to do with the weather then anything else.
I really couldn't write about the little dude's music unless I listened to some and I bit the bullet and picked two videos on YouTube and I realized something very interesting. Justin Bieber IS the Leif Garrett and Shaun Cassidy of the '70's, he really is. What does that mean for us and him, well it depends which side of the fence you're on I would think.
Remembering back to those '70's phenoms, one must understand that the music they put out was bubble gum, geared for the young female audience and pretty much hated by any boy under the age of 14. Both Garrett and Cassidy had meteoric rides and a decent, smooth adventure for a little while and then the got to the precipice of that ride and they found the slippery slope and that was that. Garrett and Cassidy went quietly into that good night and others came and went just as fast and Mr. Bieber seems to be following the same path.
Before I go on, I will not make light of any legal problems or the tragic accident Mr. Garrett had, they are personal issues and I would be an ass for trying to go that way, therefore I will not.
Both gentlemen had careers that were very nice and their successes afforded them many things and they both tasted the sting of their fleeting successes and slowly they came back into the eye of the public in a different light, its possible that Mr. Bieber faces the same battles. Mr. Bieber produces what can only be described as bubblegum, that's what his fans want and that's exactly what he will give them. Until Mr. Bieber can produce an iconic album that can be considered eye opening or of great political import (thanks Janis), he will be forced to follow the teen idols of the past.
While it is fact that rarely does any band successfully re-invent themselves, it is just as rare for a solo act to forcibly cram something game changing to their fan base. If Bieber tried to make an album just as hard and heavy as "Ride the Lightning" by Metallica, he would lose all credibility for both fan bases, it would be complete musical suicide. Would Bieber attempt such a thing, not unless his manager is Pat Boone, but I think you understand my point.
For Bieber the real problem is the fact that his fan base will grow up and their tastes will substantially change and then he has to reach back to the new fans who may not be interested in hearing him, there could be another "Bieber" on the horizon and this becomes the Achilles Heel for him. Record companies love money (that's their business after all), but I would bet if his career begins to wane (a la Garrett and Cassidy), someone will invariably panic and the re-invention will begin.
Strange duets, re-makes of classic songs, drastic changes and desperate, futile attempts to cram him down the throats of the masses will force his career into the "runaway truck" lane, it has happened so many times before and will happen over and over to other acts forever. Bieber will have to fight the allure to follow that advice and he must overcome that influence it's either that or start auditioning for "Worlds Dumbest" as soon as possible.
That's where the Baseball Bat of Life comes in you see. Bieber can use that bat to either beat the crap out of those that will invariably want to change him and his music DRASTICALLY or have the bat used on him by the critics and by his fans (the ones that are running away screaming).
Oh did I like the music? Nope. What I really wanted to do was jam an icepick into that part of my brain that I use for short term memory! See it's happening already.