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Justin Bieber - Under the Mistletoe

Under the Mistletoe with Justin Bieber

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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justin bieber music for kids

Justin Bieber - Under the Mistletoe

Courtesy Island Records
There are literally thousands of Christmas CDs to choose from when the holiday season rolls around every year, as performers have been releasing albums of their own versions of yuletide classics since the time of Frank Sinatra. This year is no exception, of course, and one of the current top selling favorite artists of younger music fans has offered up his contribution to the holiday music selection. Justin Bieber’s Under the Mistletoe will not induce Bieber Fever amongst uninitiated music listeners, as the album is filled with a preponderance of finger snaps and vocal rolls, but his followers will gobble up this holiday treat.

Songwriting and Production for 'Under the Mistletoe'

Under the Mistletoe was produced by a host of studio pros, including Kuk Harrell, The Messengers, Usher, C. "Tricky" Stewart, Sean K, Aaron Pearce, Bernard Harvey, Nick Turpin, Josh Cross, James "Big Jim" Wright, Mariah Carey, Jay Riehl, Randy Jackson, Antwan Thompson, Boogie Wizzard, Chris Brown, and Justin Bieber himself. The original tunes on Under the Mistletoe were written by a massive list of composers, as well, most notably the hit making Canadian writing and production duo known as The Messengers (Nasri Atweh and Adam Messinger). The Messengers first wrote and produced Justin's chart-dominating hit of early 2011, "Never Say Never," the title track off his hit concert film, Never Say Never.

Music from Justin Bieber's 'Under the Mistletoe'

Under the Mistletoe kicks off with “Only Thing I Ever Get for Christmas,” an R&B ballad written by Christopher Stewart, Aaron Pearce, Tim Miner, and Justin Bieber that features smooth, rolling acoustic guitar picking and great pop song chord changes. A chik-chik reggae beat and hand bells inform “Mistletoe,” penned by Bieber and The Messengers, and the first single from Under the Mistletoe. Next comes Bieber’s slow jam rendition of Mel Torme’s classic “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire),” featuring vocal help from Usher.

Bieber’s take on “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” is reminiscent of the classic, smooth, soulful funk of Motown-era Jackson 5; while Adonis Shropshire, Bernard Harvey, and Justin Bieber’s “Fa La La” is a pleasant enough laid back R&B tune that features help from Boys II Men. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” guest stars Mariah Carey, and is pretty much a note for note remake of the version she released back in 1994 on her holiday album Merry Christmas.

More Music from Justin Bieber's 'Under the Mistletoe'

Bieber’s reworking of “Drummer Boy” is just plain weird, turning the already military-style beat into a relentless techno romp that features Busta Rhymes and Vanilla Ice-level rapping by Bieber himself. “Christmas Eve” is another smooth R&B jam written by Chris Brown, Antwan Thompson, Jerrol Wizzard, Kevin McCall, and Justin Bieber; while “All I Want is You” is a finger snapping slow jam written by Justin Bieber and Brandon Hamilton, produced by Bieber himself.

The Band Perry contribute to “Home this Christmas,” a syrupy country pop hybrid written by Nasri Atweh, Nick Turpin, George Nozuka, Melanie Fontana, and Justin Bieber; and album-closer “Silent Night” is Justin Bieber alone at the piano, a quiet and understated version of the classic yuletide song.

Bonus songs included on the “deluxe” version of the Under the Mistletoe CD/DVD combo include “Christmas Love,” an upbeat pop song written and produced by The Messengers; an a cappella version of “Fa La La;” the song “Pray,” originally included on Bieber’s album My Worlds Acoustic; and the classic “Someday at Christmas,” written by Ron Miller and Bryan Wells, a tune first recorded and performed by Stevie Wonder in 1967 for the Christmas album Someday at Christmas, and recorded by Bieber a couple of years ago (his vocal aging is pretty evident). The Jackson 5 later recorded their version of the song for the 1970 album Jackson 5 Christmas Album.

The Verdict

If you were going to pick just one song from Justin Bieber's Under the Mistletoe to add to your holiday music mix, I would recommend “Only Thing I Ever Get for Christmas” or the bonus track “Christmas Love.” Otherwise, Under the Mistletoe is an ok holiday album for Bieber fans only.

Released November 1, 2011; Island Records

Track Listing

  1. “Only Thing I Ever Get for Christmas”
  2. “Mistletoe”
  3. “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)”
  4. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”
  5. “Fa La La”
  6. “All I Want for Christmas Is You (Superfestive!)”
  7. “Drummer Boy”
  8. “Christmas Eve”
  9. “All I Want Is You”
  10. “Home This Christmas”
  11. “Silent Night”
  12. “Christmas Love”
  13. “Fa La La (A Cappella Version)”
  14. “Pray”
  15. “Someday at Christmas”
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