When Justin Bieber released “As Long As You Love Me” in 2012 the reviews came pouring in:
“A dubstep love song” (we need more of these)
“Plaintive and still unmistakably teenage” (A sad sounding teenager?)
“A massive yet somehow intimate dance track” (neither of those two adjectives are accurate)
“The Biebs handles his business” (I’m pretty sure he has people for that)
“…Love is All We Need’ cliché-spewing that should probably never be uttered by an 18-year-old with his own Batmobile” (my personal favorite)
What they all seemed to be doing, (except for the last one) was defending this completely run of the mill and utterly commercial track. In succession, they read like a bunch of loyal subjects to the Canadian crown.
Jump ahead to Feb. 2013 when Skye Edwards came by Morning Becomes Eclectic. Before she covered the song of note, she prefaced it by telling our audience that her daughter had been playing it so much that she herself began to like it.
I’m guessing it was a phenomenon not unlike commercial jingles or Christmas songs, but I like to think that her real intention was to turn the cliché into something with real depth.
“As Long as You Love Me” is a song about going through anything and everything for the one you love and it’s a nice sentiment for a teenager.
But no matter how talented Bieber is (or his stable of writers and choreographers) there are a few things that his voice cannot convey; Love lost, lessons learned, hardships overcome.
When she sang this cover at KCRW, Skye showed us one thing he’ll never be able to replicate. And that’s experience.