Contrary to all that is good and natural in this world, Justin Bieber has a knack for bringing the best out of other musicians. It’s like he’s musical MSG and everyone around him is noodles. He is a musical avocado surrounded by a breakfast scramble of producers and songwriters. Skrillex’s production on Purpose was his most entertaining stuff in years, “Where Are U Now” made Diplo essential again, and he even made Ed Sheeran seem interesting and relevant for a hot minute.
At midnight last night, Bieber, Major Lazer, and MØ dropped “Cold Water” and, again, it’s greater than the sum of its parts. It’s not trying to fix what isn’t broken, chugging away at an off-beat through the verse and relying on a plucked guitar for melody. Oh, and there’s the inevitable, Diploian (Diplomatic?) synth line in the chorus. MØ fits into the whole thing nicely, all the audible pouting dragging something else from Bieber’s lingering innocence.
And Ed Freakin' Sheeran’s there again, sharing songwriting duties with Benny Blanco. His fingerprints are all over it, but shit, if Sheeran had been the one singing this, the song itself would have been punchable, if it’s possible to punch a song. Instead, it's a very legitimate banger. Justin Bieber is now Ed Sheeran’s mouthpiece. It’s a brave new world, y’all.
Listen to the track below.
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