Album review: Justin Bieber's 'Never Say Never: The Remixes'
The most shiny mod hairdo in the business — Pantene, why haven’t you used this kid yet? — may have been robbed, according to his legions of “Beliebers,” for Grammy awards on Sunday night, but teen sensation Justin Bieber has something probably more tangible in the end: a box-office hit — in 3-D, natch. “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” grossed around $30 million in its opening weekend, just behind Adam Sandler’s “Just Go With It.”
“Never Say Never: The Remixes,” the musical companion piece to the Bieber biopic that tracks his rise from an Ontario, Canada, street performer to selling out Madison Square Garden, makes a pretty airtight case for his appeal. Most of all, it’s a testament to the monstrous will of the Pop Music Machine, which has sent a surge through every piston and cog, all energized toward feeding and growing its latest creation. Earth citizens, you will know about Justin Bieber whether you like it or not!
Perhaps the most savvy quality about “Never Say Never: The Remixes” is how many aspects of the pop spectrum it effectively tickles while never corrupting the purity of Bieber’s enthusiasm, both cartoon-like and genuine.
On “Never Say Never” and “Overboard,” Bieber teams up with Jaden Smith and Miley Cyrus, respectively, satiating his teen fan base. To secure cred with the cool kids, Kanye West and Raekwon appear on “Runaway Love,” one of the album’s best tracks, stacked with synths that sparkle with just enough fresh-scrubbed innocence to neutralize whatever sex appeal they court. Call it a seduction jam for the club — but this club only serves fruit juice for now, thank you very much.
— Margaret Wappler
“Never Say Never: The Remixes”
Island Def Jam
Three stars (Out of four)