The Bieber blitz continues with “All Around the World,” the third single from Believe, coming just days after the “hater-proof” Michael Jackson homage “Die in Your Arms.” It’d be safe to expect something different from this. Like “Baby,” it has a Ludacris appearance, and it’s the first track, meaning you can expect something big, and it’s got the sort of title you’d give a prospective global dance hit. (See: ATC.)
What you probably weren’t expecting was for this to be halfway to an inspirational song, where “all around the world” refers less to globetrotting than globalism. Listen below. (This just came out, so the version below is pitchshifted; in other words, no, Bieber’s voice is not actually this low)
It’s hard to talk about “All Around the World,” a radio-ready dance track, without drawing comparisons to the rest of the radio. For instance, imagine if The Wanted wrote “What Makes You Beautiful” instead of One Direction; it’d be club pop, not
“Summer Nights” pop-rock, and the lovey stuff of the chorus (“All around the world, people want to be loved…”) would be interspersed with more ambiguous comments like “you’re crazy, girl… why you walking so shy?” Or imagine if “Till the World Ends” were merged with “Starships,” the chants from the former segueing into the dance breakdown from the latter. (But do Bieber and Luda count as real hip-hop? Somebody consult Peter Rosenberg!)
In Bieber and Ludacris’s own terms, imagine Bieber’s spot on that Far*East Movement song if it were better; he keeps the breathy, grown-up vocals but gets to sing a melody too. And imagine Luda reprising his verse on “Baby,” and although you’ve heard most of it elsewhere (i.e. “They may win some battles, but love wins in the end!”), for one particular line, that’s a great thing–the “imperfectly perfect” line from Bieber’s “Otis” verse. Luda really is invested in Bieber’s career!
Is this Bieber’s best style? Probably not–he’s competent as a dance vocalist, but the style doesn’t exactly lend anybody much individuality. Is it a solid lead-off for Believe? Sure. And should this get shipped to radio, it probably could live up to its title.