First there was Sonny and Cher, then Donny and Marie, followed by The Captain and Tennille. Could fellow Canucks Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen be the next big musical duo? I’m going to go out on a (maple tree) limb and say probably not, but that doesn’t preclude them from trying. Bieber and Jepsen released a sneak preview of a duet that will appear on Jepsen’s upcoming album on Wednesday. The song, called “Beautiful,” is a sugary sweet jingle about loving someone perfectly. “You’re not trying to be perfect, nobody’s perfect, but you are to me,” the two sing.
Okay, so there’s something strange about this. While I will not go so far as to say that Justin Bieber “discovered” Jepsen — she had already appeared on Canadian Idol and released a successful debut album — he certainly did introduce her music to the American masses. Therefore, there’s a degree of sense involved with the two recording a duet. I mean, if I were a rising pop star I would cling to Justin Bieber’s coat tails for dear life. But did the duet have to be a love song?
Maybe it’s ageist of me, but hearing Jepsen, 26, and Bieber, 18, sing about falling in love (presumably with one another) is icky. It also rings a bit false. In all of their appearances together, there has never been one iota of chemistry between the two stars. And we, as listeners, are supposed to buy that they are in love? I can hear the naysayers now, “But it’s just a song! It’s not real!” I know this. I also know that when I listen to this song, I hear two parts grafted together. It’s hard to picture Jepsen and Bieber in the same room together, let alone serenading one another.
Bieber and Jepsen’s voices, both adorably raspy, compliment one another and, I said before, a duet is only logical. But I don’t think a cutesy ditty was the best way to go about this. A playful show of one-upmanship would have better suited their relationship. Not to mention, Jepsen’s smash hit single “Call Me Maybe” took off not just because of its catchy hook, but because its lyrics were clever and original. The song is charming in its slightly deprecating self-awareness. “Beautiful,” however, lacks the subtlety and cheekiness we love in “Call Me Maybe.”
Instead of pouring on the sugar, Jepsen and Bieber should have added a little sauce. This song thoroughly scrubs Jepsen’s already squeaky-clean persona of all character and its blandness ensures that this new duet will have none of the cross-over appeal of “Call Me Maybe.” On the bright side, 27 million Beliebers are sure to love it. Take listen to “Beautiful” below — and tell us what you think.
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]
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