Thursday night, Justin Bieber revealed the highly anticipated music video for his single, “Boyfriend.” One segment was unveiled by Bieber himself during his appearance on NBC’s “The Voice,” while the entire video was revealed later on “MTV First.”
Critics protest that the video is strikingly similar to ‘NSYNC’s “Girlfriend” video, released in 2001. Judging from “Boyfriend,” the two Justins share more than names, opposing song titles and pop flare. Bieber’s video mimics the all-too-familiar party scenes, fast cars and seductive girls that former heartthrob Justin Timberlake captured in 2001.
Though most commonly critiqued for its Timberlake-like charm, the video delivers historical déjá vu from all decades. My favorite are as follows:
At 0:07, Bieber makes his Thrilleresque debut – a tribute to Michael Jackson – by emulating the illuminated silhouette Jackson boasts in his “Thriller” video.
0:58 brings a flashback of brooding James Dean. Both Bieber and Dean sport a sultry expression, gelled hair and a posture Bieber would surely describe as “swag.” The only blatant discrepancy between the two seems to be a substitution of shades for Dean’s fuming cigarette.
Unrelated to his most recent video, Bieber’s next single, “As Long As You Love Me” solidifies the 90s pop inspiration. It shares the name of the second single released by the Backstreet Boys in the United States from 1997.
And, as most videos, it left me with one lingering question: is girlfriend Selena Gomez jealous of on screen smooches? The on-screen doppelganger of Selena Gomez claims a prominent role.
Bieber’s upcoming album, “Believe” is scheduled to debut in the U.K. June 18.