The instincts behind Justin Bieber's "Believe Acoustic" (Island) are understandable. Biebs wants to be taken seriously as an artist and as a man. However, applying the same simple acoustic arrangement to the big pop productions of his "Believe" album doesn't help his cause.
The stripped-back takes on "Beauty and a Beat" or even "Boyfriend" are interesting because they differ so much from the originals. But the other acoustic takes quickly become unnecessary since the vocals and tempo barely change. "Believe Acoustic" feels like a shortcut to seriousness that he didn't need to take. Relax, Biebs, your life is great.
BOTTOM LINE Growing old without growing up