My World 2.0 (Bonus Track Version)
By the end of the 2000s, Justin Bieber had become the reigning king of teen idoldom, his feathery bangs, velvety voice, and down-to-earth persona winning over young fans all over the world. My World 2.0, the 2010 companion to his 2009 debut EP, My World, reestablished Bieber to his core audience while also signaling to older listeners that the crooner who had been firing up the kids happened to be a talent worth checking out. Opening with the candy-coated “Baby,” an R&B-tinged appeal for reconciliation that was co-produced by hitmakers Christopher “Tricky” Stewart and Terius “The-Dream” Nash, My World 2.0 is a slick, compact collection that plays to what were, at the time, Bieber’s two biggest strengths—his still-reedy voice and his adolescent romanticism. Released a few weeks after Bieber turned 16, it places his voice in a variety of scenarios: the pulsing electro-pop of “Somebody to Love” pivots on a pleading chorus on which Bieber channels dance-floor divas of decades past; “Overboard,” a wounded duet with teen-pop upstart Jessica Jarrell, turns teen angst into a track that’s midtempo yet high-drama; and the green-eyed ballad “That Should Be Me” is enough of a classic tearjerker that it was later reworked as a duet between Bieber and the country-pop duo Rascal Flatts. My World 2.0 also has guest stars who bolster Bieber’s reputation as a multigenerational pop force, with reggae crooner Sean Kingston, who had just hit his twenties when My World 2.0 came out, adding toasts to the frothy come-on “Eenie Meenie” and Atlanta MC Ludacris dropping nostalgia-tinged bars about first love into “Baby.” Those cosigns—along with the props from Usher that had appeared on My World—and Bieber’s undeniable charm helped the Canadian singer transcend his teen-idol status early, setting him up to be one of the biggest names in 2010s pop.