The screaming girls in stadiums are one thing. But teen popster Justin Bieber has no actual hits. In the last five weeks he’s released 5 new singles, each on a Monday. Only one of them is on the iTunes top 50. Not one of them is being played on the country’s number 1 pop station, Z100. It’s as if they don’t exist.
Indeed, what’s happening to Bieber looks a lot like the fate of the Jonas Brothers and other teen pop idols. The appeal is all in person. But the songs are non existent and so are the hits. Everyone knows Bieber’s antics abroad, brothels, smoking pot, racing cars in his suburban neighborhood.
But can you hum any of his songs? Probably not.
The recent singles are called “Bad Day,” “All Bad,” “Heartbreaker,” “Hold Tight,” and “Recovery.” On each of the last five Mondays, the newest one has appeared briefly on the iTunes chart, then vanished. Only “All Bad” is still hanging around this week, at number 17.
It’s not like they’ve gotten any airplay on radio. On Z100, Bieber isn’t even listed on a roster of artists and songs for listeners to request. By contrast, Lady Gaga has six offerings and Justin Timberlake has three. http://www.z100.com/pages/info/request.html
Bieber, it seems, is now just a function of tabloid headlines. He’s never had a breakout hit a la his female counterpart, Carly Rae Jepsen, also managed by Scooter Braun. She will forever be associated with the endlessly catchy “Call Me Maybe.”
It’s sort of amazing that none of those five Bieber songs has stuck at all. But they are pedestrian pop at best, written like the most vapid greeting card. In a short time Bieber’s rapidly become the Thomas Kinkeade of pop singing.