Going nowhere but up

Going nowhere but up

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By Karly Cox

Despite his hip hop wardrobe and 'swagger coach' - a guy hired to give him street cred - Justin Bieber is actually an updated version of the kind of wholesome young male singers popular in the 1950s. His sweet smile and puppy dog eyes have made him an instant hit with tweenaged girls - and their mothers, who no doubt appreciate his candyfloss lyrics and Donny Osmond voice.

My World 2.0, the second part of Bieber's debut, opens with the doo-wop-tinged earworm Baby, a song that would have played happily on the same radio show as Puppy Love. Ludacris raps, but it's a bit like hanging with the embarrassing uncle who thinks he's cool because he owns a Wii.

Somebody to Love is surprisingly good dance track that mixes sweet promises ("For you I'd write a symphony") with an addictive beat. It would work well on an adult dancefloor - ditto Eenie Meenie.

Bieber shows he's more than just a pretty face on the ballads, in particular Up, and That Should Be Me, with plaintive lines like 'Does he love you the way I can' sung with real emotion.

It's obvious how young Bieber is on some songs - Overboard, where his voice sounds identical to his female duetter, and the early-BSB-like Never Let You Go - but there is enough inoffensive (for adults) material to suggest the kid'll be here a while.

YP rating: 3/5

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