As downright great as Justin Bieber’s ‘What Do You Mean’ and ‘Love Yourself’ are, we’ve finally got that point where if we didn’t hear them again for another year, we’d probably be alright.
Thank goodness then for Canadian producer Tronicbox, who has rerubbed the two tunes and chucked them into a time machine back to 1986. The result is two tunes that are as amazingly retro as a Rubik’s Cube drinking a pina colada somewhere on a beach in Miami with Tom Cruise. And, importantly, some excellent mocked-up artworks of Bieber with a marvellous mullet.
First up is ‘What Do You Mean It’s 1985’, which is all emotive synths and echo-y vocals over a pinky-plonky piano riff and a drum machine being spanked oh so tenderly, before one hell of a sax solo. Think John Hughes movies. Think a geeky guy in love with an awkward girl. Think paisley shirts made out of flammable fabric. Think jazz bars in Manhattan. Think your auntie Julie after a few too many gins.
Then there’s ‘Love Yourself (Purpose 1985)’, a slightly more upbeat, sassier rework of Bieber’s Ed Sheeran co-write. This is the one that’s a buddy cop movie, or the montage scene in a film where a shop dummy becomes a real woman. This is the one that’ll make you feel 10ft tall before your interview for that summer job at the local holiday camp.
And it doesn’t end there. Tronicbox hasn’t just had his wicked way with Biebs. He’s also reworked Ariana Grande’s ‘One Last Time’, and made it into an early Madonna-esque disco banger. What a guy.