Justin Bieber’s ‘Heartbreaker’: 5 critics weigh in

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Credit: Chris McKay/WireImage

Credit: Chris McKay/WireImage

Besides his awkward Between Two Ferns interview with Zack Galifinakis, we haven’t heard much from Justin Bieber. That is, until last night when the singer released his latest track, “Heartbreaker,” a slow jam and not-so-veiled reference to ex Selena Gomez. The singer hasn’t confirmed rumors that song is about his on- and off-girlfriend, but with lyrics like: “I know it hasn’t been easy for us to talk with everyone being around / But this is personal, this is for me and you / And I want you to know that I still love you” — we’d be hard pressed to think of a better candidate.

Since last night, opinions and have been rolling in — from talk of the song’s overt 90s feel to the striking similarity between the cover art for “Heartbreaker” and Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak. Here, 5 major critics’ take on “Heartbreaker”:

“It’s an atmospheric slow jam that comes complete with a ’90s style spoken-word bit in the middle.” — Kyle Anderson (Entertainment Weekly)

“Bieber seems to be taking a cue from the moody stylings of Drake, with an introspective, slow-burning R&B song that, like much of Drake’s output, sounds as though it was beamed here straight from the ’90s. The singer implores the object of his affection not to call him a ‘heartbreaker’ because his ‘heart’s breaking.’ And while it’s hardly groundbreaking stuff, it is catchy, and Bieber’s vocals sound stronger than ever before. ” — Aisha Harris (Slate)

“A simple acoustic lick and snare taps set the scene for what amounts to Bieber’s most direct stab at adult R&B to date, complete with the spoken-word breakdown that one might find on a Boyz II Men song.” — Jason Lipschutz (Billboard)

“The song’s as much Kanye-influenced in melody as it is in cover art — Old Kanye, whose sadness echoed through ‘Love Lockdown.’ That heartbroken Kanye is what New Bieber is going for…” — Lindsey Weber (Vulture)

“So, if this song is proof, he’s still not over Gomez. And, while some might find an uncanny similarity in the track’s artwork and Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak album, there’s nothing Kanye about the song — a welcome departure from the heavily hip-hop-influenced sound Bieber was approaching.” — Hayden Manders (Refinery29)

Take a listen for yourself and tell us what you think!

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