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Whoa! Justin Bieber, is that you? With his new single "Boyfriend," the 18-year-old singer has traded his teeny-bopper pop sound for a smooth R&B swagger. And is it just us, or has his voice dropped three octaves since "Baby"? Listen below!
The song, from Bieber's forthcoming album Believe, is drawing lots of comparisons to another teen idol-turned-chart topper: Justin Timberlake. And Bieber really does sound a lot like Timberlake on the track, from the falsetto crooning to his surprisingly good rapping. Not coincidentally, Timberlake modeled his own solo sound after that of Bieber's musical hero, Michael Jackson. So does "Boyfriend" have what it takes to move Bieber into their league? He certainly hopes so.
"I'm maturing, and my music's maturing, so I wanted to do something different," Bieber tells USA Today. "I've got a lot of great collaborators working with me, and we're thinking outside the box."
To that end, "Boyfriend" was written with "Cooler Than Me" singer Mike Posner -- though Bieber takes credit for "some of the hook and the rap." (We bet the Buzz Lightyear line was all him!)
With the release of his second studio album, the Canadian superstar hopes that music fans will see him in a whole new light.
"People just need to take a chance and listen," he says in the April issue of Complex. "If they don't want to take a chance, then I don't know. That's going to be the biggest problem, to make them feel like it's cool for them to like my music."