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Justin Bieber - This is Justin Bieber (Cover Artwork)

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber: This is Justin BieberThis is Justin Bieber (2011)
TLC

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: JohnGentileJohnGentile
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Much like the average 17-year-old, Justin Bieber finds himself at a critical juncture. Although he's reigned as king of bubble gum pop for the past three years, usurping three brothers in a coup not without its parallels to viking mythology, he must now make a decision. Shall he continue onwards as .
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Much like the average 17-year-old, Justin Bieber finds himself at a critical juncture. Although he's reigned as king of bubble gum pop for the past three years, usurping three brothers in a coup not without its parallels to viking mythology, he must now make a decision. Shall he continue onwards as a highly polished, squeaky clean star, risking loss of interest as his audience ages, or shall he follow in the path of another Justin Timberlake and forge forward in an edgy direction that retains a link to his past? This is Justin Bieber, a combination documentary and music film that will air on TLC Wed., Dec. 21, seems to focus so much on what the image of Bieber is right now that it overlooks his future path, and even the subject himself really isn't the focus of the film, although it does show that for all the vitriol spat at the lad, he does have true talent in his core.

The special can't seem to decide if it wants to be a filmed concert or a documentary about Bieber's trek to date, splitting itself between polished performances and a brief history stitched together from archival footage. The documentary focuses on Bieber's discovery through his manager finding his clip on Youtube. Quickly, the films progresses from showing a three-year-old Biebs being already quite adept on the drums to him stepping out onto the stage of a packed stadium.

But, the documentary pieces continually point out what we already know. There are dozens of shots of Bieber's adoring fans, how he has to be helicoptered to performances and how he has sold millions of records--but, we don't need convincing that Bieber is famous. We already know that he's one of the world's most recognized figures.

With every stadium shot, we lose the chance to sit down with Biebs one-on-one and see what he really thinks. Certainly, the star's life is most exceptional, so hearing what he thinks would be a new experience to almost any one of us. But, instead of allowing us to get inside Bieber's tousled tuft, the camera pushes us away with long range shots, and somewhat disturbingly, almost beatifies Bieber. He urges his adoring fans to "never give up on your dreams." But, Bieber's story isn't one presented as a long term struggle met with end success, but rather as a rampaging juggernaut of fame.

But, even such a story has its potential. Just as an unfettered interview with Erik the Red would be a fascinating look into the man who ravaged Scandanavia leading to enormous riches with little opposition would be inimitable, a chance to sit down with Bieber and ask what is like to have always been famous would be priceless (as well as an opportunity to learn from the past and avoid the mistakes of other young music stars). But, just when Biebs is handed an acoustic guitar and strums a note, the camera cuts to his thousands of fansā?¦

However, while the film fails to paint a picture of Bieber, it does an excellent job of illustrating why he has been able to rise above the ranks. The live music portion features the star performing mostly contemporary cuts of classic Christmas tunes. "The Little Drummer Boy" starts with a classic choppy take only to break into a hip hop break. "Mistletoe" blends pop-reggae with neo-soul. To Bieber's credit, his voice is clear, able to fly up and down the scale with seeming little effort. As he gets older, he is also developing the lower end which is so essential to R and B.

As he continues through his performance, though, the choice he has to make becomes increasingly prominent. While the stock videos show a cute kid with just a touch of baby fat, the live 17-year-old Bieber is taller, more slender and more "handsome" than "cute." Even his dance moves seem to be influenced by the innovations of the king of pop and Justin Timberlake's take on the legend. While he is growing, the songs on this set, while adequately performed, don't suggest the thoughts and growth going through the mind of a 17-year-old, famous or not.

Bieber has literally months to decide what he's going to do with the rest of his career. If he misses the jump to the next level, he will not get another chance. Yet, it's possible he could jump and miss. He has the technical talent, as exhibited by his ability to mix dancing with fairly advanced singing techniques with ease.

The Ragnarok that all child stars face is rapidly coming down on the blonde wunderkind, and indecision is not a choice when the ice giants of adulthood are kicking down the gate. But, despite the layers of gloss in This is Justin Bieber, a few times the personality of Biebs does shine though, such as when he cops a phony English accent to rag on his U.K. host. Perhaps, Bieber isn't so much pausing as he is allowing the blades of fate to bring themselves to him before he strikes...

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
palpitations101 (December 31, 2011)

"Really though, your sense of humor is crap. Irony involving pop-culture is brainless hipster drivel. Shame on you, fuck-face."

Nail on head.

This guy sucks.

CountDruckula (December 31, 2011)

Who the fuck hacked my account? P.S. WTF is Bieber doing on PUNKnews? I thought we were suppossed to be against Popular crappy "Music".

palpitations101 (December 27, 2011)

I knew, before clicking this, that this was a JohnGentile review.

crackpotdemagogue (December 27, 2011)

846 words of puff.

CountDruckula (December 25, 2011)

Love Unicorns lol

CountDruckula (December 25, 2011)

Why is there a review for THIS? I thought this was a PUNK website,not a Guy who can't sings website

By the way, i

coldwaraaron (December 24, 2011)

We need to vote Bieber Punknews' "Band of the year" to beat Alternative Press' "Band of the year" (Black veil brides.
Goddammit.

It's the fucking Wonder Years.

145Alive (December 24, 2011)

Really though, your sense of humor is crap. Irony involving pop-culture is brainless hipster drivel. Shame on you, fuck-face.

145Alive (December 24, 2011)

kinda proud that I naturally misspelled his name.

145Alive (December 24, 2011)

I heard Justin Beiber is the new bass player for Lemuria.

axl09 (December 24, 2011)

@bonerburger Yeah cause thats what punk rock is...

bonerburger (December 23, 2011)

Bieber is more punk than most of the other bands on this site. He's probably doing lines off that Selena girl's ass right now/while impregnating some ulgy 30-something/while counting his money and not thinking about child support/while calculating how much it is to buy four days worth of heroin/while laughing to himself about how easy it is to rape the system/while wishing his herpes a merry christmas. maybe. If his music didn't completely suck, I'd be his biggest fan.

jacknife737 (December 23, 2011)

Eh, his newer stuff is a bit too mainstream for my tastes. I liked it better when he used to play basement shows.

RevolutionJoe (December 22, 2011)

The Org is dead. Long live the Org!

mclz (December 21, 2011)

I hope this is number 1 on the "best of 2011" poll!!

EchosMyron (December 21, 2011)

To be fair, this still isn't as terrible as the Kidz Bop review from a few years back.

Jeevz (December 21, 2011)

I have bieber fever!!!

Blackjaw_ (December 21, 2011)

"the live 17-year-old Bieber is taller, more slender and more "handsome" than "cute.""

This.

Skibz777 (December 20, 2011)

@DaveBrave4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QspuCt1FM9M

It's unnaturally soothing.

davebrave4 (December 20, 2011)

Anybody wanna post a link to that slowed down Bieber track? It sounds amusing.

SquareBall (December 20, 2011)

This is hilarious, totally made my day

mattramone (December 20, 2011)

"Troll so hard punknews wanna fine me" - John Gentile

dev (December 20, 2011)

I don't see the problem here, my six-year-old daughter will now somehow get into punk music because of this, right?

telegraphrocks (December 20, 2011)

Fuck this site.

eatdogs (December 20, 2011)

'Fuck. Fine, I'll start writing fucking reviews already. This is shameful."

maybe that was the whole point to the review in the first place? inspiration perhaps??? or maybe just something relevant in the minds of all punks who cross these paths on the org...

SilentStorms (December 20, 2011)

Fuck. Fine, I'll start writing fucking reviews already. This is shameful.

Ramones999138 (December 20, 2011)

why is Justin Bieber on a website for punk music?!?......goddammit ):

encorp (December 20, 2011)

I think the real joke here is how uptight the majority of the posters are; everyone is freaking out - and missing the fucking joke!

tenwestchaser (December 20, 2011)

Punknews, you've gone too far. This is not funny, ironic, nostalgic or relevant in any other way. Shame on you.

eatdogs (December 20, 2011)

"You ever listen to the song where they slowed down the Bieber track 60times? Which I guess is playing it at 1/60 speed? It's insane. The layers and level of reverb they use on his voice is totally insane."

dude, i heard that. it's sounds like whales singing or something.

notfeelingcreative (December 20, 2011)

Great I'm whining like a pussy. That helps!

notfeelingcreative (December 20, 2011)

Why is everyone complaining? This is the same website on which many posters conspired to get a teenage mutant ninja turtles review on to "year end" list. The same website that was, for years, littered with "first" posters, imaginary warped tour stages and people losing weight due to against me!

Dante3000 (December 20, 2011)

You ever listen to the song where they slowed down the Bieber track 60times? Which I guess is playing it at 1/60 speed? It's insane. The layers and level of reverb they use on his voice is totally insane.

Looked it up they slowed it down 800% whatever the shit that means.

thingfromuranus (December 20, 2011)

Great review, will definetely be picking this up.

eatdogs (December 20, 2011)

"Wow, I thought this was going to be by the reigning king of writing irrelevant reviews: Eatdogs"

nuh uh, oh no you dit'ent!!!

come on man, my profile name doesn't start with an uppercase letter...

SydBarrett420 (December 20, 2011)

lol shutup mikexdude, three years ago this shit would have been in your cd player all day long.

Jesus, a guy gets a few hairs on his balls and he assails his former idols, sad what the world is coming to.........

ThisRespirator (December 20, 2011)

While this review is well written, why the fuck is it on here? Nobody on here is ever going to listen to this.

This actually reminds me that I've been meaning to write a review for Born This Way though. Best Pop record in ages.

overdefined (December 20, 2011)

Wow, I thought this was going to be by the reigning king of writing irrelevant reviews: Eatdogs

adamvms (December 20, 2011)

I am glad to see this is relevant to the site.

MikexDude (December 20, 2011)

Good 'ol biebs. With the amount of pitch correction on everyone's favorite punk records, at least this guy only uses it asthetically.

FromAbove (December 20, 2011)

The day my sister and I could go to the same webpage with the word "punk" in it to read a review, has finally come. Now, all of that incest stuff seems unnecessary. Oh, well

conebone69 (December 20, 2011)

Meh...this review looks good when compared to other titles such as Punk Goes Pop 4 or any Madball record

Cos (December 20, 2011)

Why?

EchosMyron (December 20, 2011)

worthwhile

EchosMyron (December 20, 2011)

I hate these gimmick reviews. Surely there must be something wortwhile that's on the waiting list. Christ, this site doesn't even have a single review of an album by the Cows or Unwound.

cyanotic (December 20, 2011)

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d_sanchezson (December 20, 2011)

you think you're soooooo funny don't cha?

devianter (December 20, 2011)

so, this is it folks....

laserguidedbygod (December 20, 2011)

Troll.

ashtraymonument (December 20, 2011)

you son of a bitch.

keithybobeefy (December 20, 2011)

I liked it better when I didn't have to read reviews about things I don't like. Oh wait...

mattramone (December 20, 2011)

April Fool's is in April, you silly goose.

MN_DrNick (December 20, 2011)

Seriously?! SERIOUSLY?! WHY THE FUCK DID THIS GET A REVIEW!!

punk_sk (December 20, 2011)

what B_S said.

Bastard_squad (December 20, 2011)

Not only is he NOT Old Skull, fuck you guys for reviewing this.

sketchyjoe (December 20, 2011)

He's no Old Skull.

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