[Editor's note: Why This Song Sucks determines why particular tracks blow using science. It appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday.]
Song: Justin Bieber's “Boyfriend”
Preemptive Note: Before we get into this, and I don't think this is weird to mention because it's so obviously true, but you'll need to turn off your libido when examining this song. Otherwise your data will be for shit because, dudes, Justin Bieber is smoking hot now. I mean, look at him. He's like a non-threatening young Brad Pitt. I guess there's no real way to verify it, but I'm willing to bet that when God finished making him, he was like, “Fuck yeah, bros! Up top!” and then just started giving everyone Delicate One Fives*.
*A “Delicate One Five” is how they high five in Heaven, duh. Maybe you read about it? They talk about it in a little book called the Bible.
History: “Boyfriend” is the first single from Justin Bieber's upcoming album, Believe. It's just about the worst Justin Timberlake song you'll ever hear.
Atmospherics: Synthetic claps; whistles; plucky guitars; plink-plank-plunk tinkerings.
Scientific Analysis:Justin Bieber is a gem. He's 1,000 percent likeable, even if you've no real reason to like him. And pointing out that a song of his sucks seems some serious post-meta ironic music criticism or whatever. Plus, he's become so famous that he's barely human anymore. Picking at him is like picking at Pepsi or Apple.
Still though, this song is a clear Justin Timberlake rip-off. Bieber uses the same template (spacey beat, begin in a sultry voice, hit some falsetto notes, rap some shit, pepper in a few adlibs) except it lacks the dynamicism and depth that JT had, be it production (I believe “Boyfriend” was produced by the same guys that make beats for the Fresh Beat Band) or songwriting.
It's like Bieber watched a movie Timberlake was in, kind of remembered he had made music at one point, Googled him, downloaded Justified, listened to it, then was like, “Hmmm. This is cool. When did this come out? 2001? Did they even have the Internet in 2001? I bet I could copy this and nobody would even notice. Yep, that's it. …MOOOOOM! GET THE FUCK IN HERE! I'VE GOT A BRILLIANT IDEA!”
I mean, bros, Timberlake was telling girls he wanted to write them symphonies. Here are some things that get mentioned before the end of the second verse of “Boyfriend”: fondue, swaggie (whether this is a variation of the term “swag” or a small dog is never clarified), weather-based metaphors and Buzz motherfucking Lightyear.
HE ACTUALLY SAID HE WANTS TO BE YOUR “BUZZ LIGHTYEAR, FLY ACROSS THE GLOBE.”
Don't sex me up with your sex rainbow eyes and then drop a Toy Story reference right on my penis, Justin. That shit is super confusing. And leads to a strange string of questions:
Is he eighteen or eight? Is he trying to knock it down or is trying to play in a bouncy house? Is he Cinemax or Disney? Because he looks like a blooming Sex God, but no girl has ever been like, “Ooh, let me tell you, Sherri. I think he might be the one. He said he wanted to be my Buzz Lightyear.”
This, that, everything, it all crumbles.
(I) God took more time making Justin Bieber than he did you or me. We're all hideous monsters in comparison.
(II) N' Sync had a song in 2002 called “Girlfriend” that is just about the exact same as this one (“Boyfriend”: “If I was your boyfriend, I'd never let you go”; “Girlfriend”: “Won't you be my girlfriend, I'll treat you good”) and I didn't even bother to mention it because it was too easy.
(III) Pixar characters will help you break out of a daycare center but they will never ever help you get laid.
(IV) How has nobody made an adult movie called Sex Toy Story yet? Buzz Tightrear? Woody? It practically writes itself.