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Track review: Bieber aims for a love ballad with some street credit

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Justin Bieber, "Looking For You"

Rating:
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Canadian crooner and rapper Justin Bieber has leaked a new song with a somewhat unexpected hip-hop guest act.

It was inevitable that Justin Bieber, once again, would put out more rap-friendly music. Recently, a new single, "Looking For You," surfaced online. Bieber has been spotted lately with emcees such as Lil Wayne and Soulja Boy, so it was a surprise to see a feature from the Atlanta rap collective Migos on this song.

"Looking For You," though labeled as a Bieber song, seems to have little input from J. B. Aside from a couple brief verses and a monotonous pre-chorus, the young entertainer seems to let Migos pick up the rest of the slack, which they don't seem to accomplish as well as they should have. Quavo, Takeoff and Offset all provide brief eight-line verses for the bridge, along with Quavo adlibbing across the entire track and providing a rapped counter hook.

All this is done over a hip-hop friendly, club-inspired pop beat that's a bit uptempo. The beat isn't anything incredibly unique. In fact, it sounds like a beat that auditioned for Chris Brown's "F.A.M.E." album, and didn't make the cut. However, even with the beat needing a little bit of mixing work, the textures used for the bass and lead synth are a bit different from Bieber's normal style.

Another pro to this track is Bieber's vocals. While he sticks in a certain range and his singing is given some assistance with minor auto-tune and reverb, he provides his own background vocals and creates a few pleasant harmonies. Also, though each member of Migos has less than thought-provoking verses, each does bring enthusiasm to the song and give the track some zeal.

This song, just as any song from a mainstream artist such as Bieber, must be taken with a grain of salt; more often than not, mainstream artists are looking to make a catchy song that will sell as opposed to making a statement or experimenting. This Examiner can give credit where credit is due, however, and the song is catchy and provides a couple of earworms. Overall, "Looking For You" looks for five stars, but will have to settle for two.

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