The Only Reason to Ever Listen to Justin Bieber

Filed under i used to be so cool, music is my boyfriend

Most exciting things in my relationship with Kamran happen between 8:30 a.m., when we should be leaving the house for work, and 8:45 a.m., when we actually leave.

Yesterday morning at 8:30, he loaded a Justin Bieber song on his computer. I’ve accidentally caught live performances of this particular song on several occasions just because I watch so much crappy reality TV, but it turns out the album version is actually pretty incredible.

Kamran called it pure bubblegum pop bliss. It’s the song “U Smile”, and in a perfect world, it’ll load automatically when you click on that link.

Next, he showed me the 800%-slowed-down version, which New York magazine likened to Mogwai but I think is straight up Sigur Ros:

Isn’t it beautiful? Parts of it made us look up from our lipstick-applying and flexing-in-the-mirror-for-the-18th-time-that-hour at each other like, “Whaaaaaaaa?”

And then I had to tell Kamran this story, which I’m telling you now so I can remember it when I’m 80 and still be pissed off:

When I was a junior at THE Ohio State University, I took a poetry workshop that was supposed to lead to a career in song- and jinglewriting. I actually liked the professor’s poetry, which is kind of unheard of for me, and although it was clear she didn’t think any of my poems made any sense whatsoever, she always blamed it on herself and encouraged me to keep trying.

One of our assignments was to take a song, pretend like we didn’t know what the lyrics really were, and re-write them based on what we actually hear. So I used Sigur Ros’s “Vaka”, which was sung in Hopelandic, an entirely made-up language:

“How clever!”, I’m sure you’re thinking, and I was thinking it, too.

Only the professor said it didn’t count, because the lyrics not being in English meant I didn’t have to use any imagination to make up new ones. Well, you can guess how personally I took that, seeing as how I thought I’d used all of my imagination in coming up with such a unique song to explore. I never took another poetry class again, never started my indie rock band, and never wrote a single jingle.

What’s funny is that while writing this, I wanted to look at the Hopelandic lyrics for the song, but on almost every lyrics site, they’re in English, and they look veeeeeeeeeeeeeery similar to what I wrote for my poetry project. Which means that:

1) Lyrics sites are retarded.

2) I really must not be imaginative.


  1. I should also mention that this is the same class I had with Julie and learned she didn’t hate me nearly as much as I’d thought. She also introduced me to the line “I got a scar I can talk about” in this Matchbox 20 song during that class, which later became my favourite Matchbox 20 song.

  2. Megan says:

    <3 sigur ros.

    and that bieber song does sound eerily like something sigur ros would write. scary.

  3. The original version made me a little nauseous, kind of like eating four cupcakes in a row. The slower one is indeed beautiful, but I’m wicked impatient, so.

    That professor was a dumbass.

    Thus spaketh Kel. Amen.

  4. Cristy says:

    I love the slowed-down version. Beautiful. I think the assignment for inventing lyrics is a neat one. The prof’s take on your creation is bogus. Give her a break, dude!

  5. Tracey says:

    You’ve written jingles! Didn’t we write, like, a million of them while you were home while we watched TV?

    Only, I can’t remember any of them.