Justin Bieber Flirts With Funk & Trap In “Roller Coaster”: Listen

Christina Lee | November 25, 2013 12:23 pm

Justin Bieber continues to grow up — on record, at least — in his new #MusicMondays track “Roller Coaster.” The Believe star faintly warbles as if singing through a vocoder, and to a rubbery funk groove that recalls producer Quincy Jones‘ earliest post-disco efforts. But as a twist to the otherwise faithful throwback, a glinting trap drum pattern enters — and Bieber carries on without missing a beat.

So far in his series, Bieber has sought to show how he’s more mature than his #stache would otherwise indicate. He’s gravitated toward hazy production as if inspired by Drake‘s producer-in-crime Noah ’40’ Shebib, stylized his single art like Kanye West‘s 808s & Heartbreak and teamed with R. Kelly for the sexually charged (obviously, for Kells anyway) “PYD.” He’s even posed shirtless (if not nude, it’s hard to tell) for an alternate “PYD” single cover, because he can. (Hear “Roller Coaster” after the jump.)

It’s too bad, then, that his antics tend to overshadow his songs, to the point where Bieber and his manager Scooter Braun felt it necessary to defend his every move of his “Roller Coaster” life. “I know who I am and what I’m doing in my life and what I’ve accomplished and continue to accomplish as a performer, as a writer, as an artist, as a person, as a human being,” Bieber said in a recent Hollywood Reporter cover story, as he likely will in his forthcoming documentary, also titled Believe.

Following that doc, in theaters on Christmas, it’d be interesting to see whether Bieber’s (solid) #MusicMondays series impacts Billboard charts more than it has as of late. (The highest-performing single is “Heartbreaker,” which has shot up the Hot 100 to No. 13.)