Smells Like Bieb Spirit
*excuse the awful pun, i had nothing after writing this for 2 hours*
So as much as i am sick of these absurd Kurt Cobain/Bieber comparisons, an idea came to me just to highlight the difference and atrocity of the nature of comparing the two figures by comparing what I am led to believe are their best works.This is designed as a smart approach but whether it will come accross as that is another matter,it’s basically a track by track of Nirvana‘s Nevermind VS Justin Bieber’s Believe. I could do this based on my ‘mindless’ opinions but I figured that would be almost as dick-ish as these comparisons so i’m sticking straight to the features of music and it’s aim as much as I can on this one.
*please note this meant i had to listen to believe in full, with my spotify connected to my facebook account and being lenient towards people you have strong opinions about is very hard*
Both for my convenience have 13 tracks, so here goes….
Smells Like Teen Spirit \/s All Around The World
SMLTS is the key Nirvana track, try as you might to find flaws, this is the one everyone knows (even beliebers) and you cannot deny it’s greatness, from the iconic riff to the lyrics it’s an all round winner, this is all based on common public fact (admittedly on this one Cobain had help with the writing from bandmates). All Around The World too features help though in the form of Ludacris, a man we’ve all been dreading since Baby crept it’s way into our ears and never left, However this track leaves that all behind and favours the kind of eurobeat synth David Guetta would envy venturing Bieber in to the land of dance pop for a brief moment, leaving behind the naivety of My World to create a song that is very commercial and has grabbed many mainstream critics attention’s for the right reasons. Not to shabby for what it’s worth there Biebs…
In Bloom \/s Boyfriend
In Bloom returns to material written by Cobain and soley Cobain, (unlike Believe, who has at least 3 writers per track, though I am glad to see Bieber on all of them this time) and it’s a good one too. … Boyfriend is not too shabby either, the robotic machines that conjure up the music do so quite well making for an incredibly catchy track perfect for prime time radio, however until you reach the chorus, Bieber wafts of this wannabe gangster with low,whispery vocals that imply darker messages of love that can’t help but feel a bit, well, wrong. I’ll give big credit to him on this one though, it’s been stuck in my head since i heard it.
Come As You Are \/s As Long As You Love Me
Come As You Are is also a big Nirvana winner, their 2nd top 10 hit and one of Cobain’s longest guitar solos, on paper it sells to anyone. As does it in listening, the guitar riff is just haunting and the lyrics challenge expectations of people and whatnot giving it that extra edge over the classic Bieber cliche love topic.
As Long As You Love Me is a tricky one, it’s try hard dubstep and from a selling point of view, it features all the elements of the stuff on the radio, synthy breaks, a good beat and undeniably really good, clean vocals , however it’s gets to the chorus and Bieber attempts to harmonize with the ‘dubstep’ break, killing the catchiness of it all. So far it seems Bieber has definetely surpassed the childish attempt of his last album and seems to be creating things that are actually contenders in the mainstream world, as much as opinions on it may differ.
Breed \/s Catching Feelings
Breed starts with the best drum roll in history and has that signature grunge “i don’t care” feel throughout that just makes it a classic that thunders from start to finish. Catching Feelings is very different. It starts with acoustic guitar and your standard clap beat with generic “dreamy” vocals singing about how “things can’t be happening it’s too perfect etc etc” that are apparently enough too woo any 11 year old and continues throughout. This is a low point for sure.
Lithium \/s Take You
Lithium is yet another top 40 type classic for ya, the lyrics are undeniable genius and the contrasting verse chorus thing just works effortlessly here. Top class.
Take You is again a more dance-y track, with that ‘oh so smooth’ beat and guitar until the synths come in making it a dancefloor contender with We No Speak Americano and such vibes. Again, it’s taking it back to the whole dance pop commercial thing and it wouldnt surprise me if this gets released, it could do with some tweaks such as “little lady” being deleted from the break but it’s the kind of thing that would do well on the top 40 too it seems.
Polly \/s Right Here
Polly is a dark one, inspired by an article on an abduction and torture of a girl after a concert, but the vocals and the subdued guitar works with it however my only criticism being that it uses about 5 chords throughout which y’know makes it a bit like”oh i just heard this verse” and drags a bit but every album’s gotta have a weak part… Right Here features everyone’s favourite rapper Drake and from the off his influence is given by the r&b feel of robotic music and whiny vocals that don’t gel with each other at all, also a weak link.
Territorial Pissings \/s Fall
Territorial Pissings is the only other track on the album written by Cobain with help, in this case from Chet Powers, but it;s worth it. It’s fueled throughout by crashing drums, constant guitar and shouty vocals that emphasise the feel of it all in short time and seems like an overlooked track on the album. Fall is again yer classic Bieber, with the wavering vocals and simple guitar backing that is the kind of stuff likely to woo yet more children and feels like a backstreet boys/westlife ballad.
Drain You \/s Die In Your Arms
Drain You is again your typical nirvana grunge with the standard crashing drums and powerful guitars with added trippy effects in the breaks just to make it that more innovative really.
Die In Your Arms sounds like an advert when it starts, the keyboard sounds like some kind of classical fanfare, then it goes into this soulful drum beat and backing “mms” that give it the cliche r&b soul feel but the still high vocals work quite well over it all to be honest.kudos.
Lounge Act \/s Thought Of You
Lounge Act is a bassy affair once again, it seems a bit of a breath of fresh air after the relentless guitar fueled track section prior to it, the vocals are clearer and there’s flashes of sonic-y guitar that compliments it all and makes for a well needed regeneration towards the end of the album. Thoughts Of You was not on youtube. it was not on spotify. I could not buy it unless i got the whole album. sorry.
Stay Away \/s Beaty And The Beat
Stay Away returns Nevermind back to the thunderous guitary grunge album with shouty vocals and an infectious bassline once again that makes it just a song you want to jump around to…After reading the name of the Bieber track I was almost sick in my mouth, then to see featuring Nicki Minaj my heart died dreading the forthcoming 4 minutes, however it begins all synthy like a classic david guetta again job before dropping to a bassy verse and building back up again, despite the writhing lyrics, making for something again likely to be played on many dancefloors, the break is also computerized but it works as does the nicki minaj thing. I imagine this will be all over Capital FM at somepoint.
On A Plain \/s One Love
On A Plain again has the grungey powerful guitar based thing but the vocals appear cleaner once again and it all works together again effortlessly. One Love is again the generic Bieber, smooth vocal “love is great, you’re brill etc” and standard danceable clap beat that again will make girls love him apparently. It also has more computer generated sparks that sound a bit like a xylophone, i like that.
Something In The Way \/s Be Alright
Something In The Way is the official album closer, a reserved dark acoustic guitar backs up Cobain’s moody yet almost vocals quietly before a bass and again subdued drums appear and fade out the album brilliantly. Be Alright returns to the whole acoustic guitar- dreamy vocal thing like Fall, but a bit more optimistic. The lyrics are pretty standard “i miss you etc” as per but the guitar bit isn’t half bad.
Endless, Nameless \/s Believe
For Nirvana comes a hidden track, it only comes on certian versions and isnt strictly an album track but I won’t tell if you don’t, it’s just a mix of sonic guitars, screaming vocals and relentless drums withguitary instrumental breaks that feels like it;s been thrown together in a matter of minutes and almost improv. but that’s what makes it great if you ask me.
Finally Believe is the euphoric album closer this time, the music’s soft, it has a piano and again that standard clap beat (too much too much) but it’s nothing less than the expected of Bieber,it’s like S Club 7, complete with clapping choir breakdown, it’s catchy too.
So at the end of it all, these comparisons are utter tosh, all the information you need to see they are incomparable (despite my best efforts) is above, two completely different styles, audiences and aims. I believe there is one clear winner from my musical point of view but really, commercial music success and music sucess in terms of penning meaningful tracks relies on the person judging. I do suggest though you do your research before claiming things such as this, that was for you MandaSwaggie & co…
note; this was harder to write than i’m sure it seems. I imagine no one will read it because so. many. words. but if you do, ta.