U Smile

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"U Smile"
Single by Justin Bieber
from the album My World 2.0
Released August 9, 2010
Format Digital download
Recorded November 26, 2009 Platinum Sound Recording Studios
(New York City, New York)
Triangle Sound Studios
(Atlanta, Georgia)
Genre Blue-eyed soul
Length 3:16
Label Island, RBMG
Writer(s) Justin Bieber, Jerry Duplessis, Arden Altino, Dan August Rigo
Producer(s) Jerry Duplessis, Arden Altino
Justin Bieber singles chronology
"Somebody to Love"
(2010)
"U Smile"
(2010)
"Pray"
(2010)

"U Smile" is a song performed by Canadian recording artist Justin Bieber. It was written by Jerry Duplessis, Arden Altino, and Dan August Rigo, and produced by Duplessis and Altino. According to Bieber, the song is dedicated to his fans. The song was released as the second digital-only single from the latter half of Bieber's debut album on March 16, 2010. It was released to mainstream radio in Canada on August 9, 2010, followed by a mainstream and rhythmic release on August 24, 2010, in the United States as the album's third single there.

The song, a piano and instrument driven blue-eyed soul ballad, garnered acclaim from critics as a standout track from the album. The song charted at seventeen and twenty-seven respectively in the United States and Canada, and later charted in the United Kingdom. Bieber performed the song as an intro to "Baby" on the ninth season of American Idol and on Saturday Night Live.

Background[edit]

In an interview with MTV News, Bieber said, "'U Smile' is one of the best songs I have ever recorded," he wrote, "It really is a throwback to the great records I listened to growing up. ... I wrote it for all my fans who got me here."[1] Bieber explained on his Twitter that his fans "took him from a small town in Canada" to the "amazing opportunity" he is living now, and feels "grateful for everything" and "blessed" for the support.[1] Bieber confirmed he co-wrote the track with August Rigo.[1] He also told his fans to enjoy it as they are the ones who give him his strength in this.[1]

In August 2010, Nick Pittsinger, a Florida based sound artist, slowed down Bieber's song 800% to produce a 35 minute long track. It was compared to ambient music, including the works of Sigur Rós. The track became an internet meme in mid to late 2010.[2]

Composition and critical reception[edit]

A sample of "U Smile", a piano and instrument driven ballad which has been described to have a "Motown vibe"

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"U Smile" is a blue-eyed soul ballad, driven by piano and other instruments.[3] Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly said the song is "the best by far" of My World 2.0, calling it "a shimmery slice of Hall & Oates-style blue-eyed soul".[4] The song has a "bluesy" feel, and makes use of metaphors such as "You are my ends and my means/With you there’s no in between."[4][5] The song composed in the key A major and it set in time signature of compound time with twelve eighth note in a bar, with the tempo of 75 beats per minute. Bieber's vocal range span two music from the lowest note A3 and the highest note E5. It follows the chord progression E-D-A.[6] Bill Lamb of About.com noted the song as a track on My World 2.0 and said it "lets Justin Bieber sway and croon. It is guaranteed to generate warm and fuzzy emotions in millions of young fans" and that it "should not disappoint adults either".[7] Monica Herrera of Billboard commended the song and said that it "should appeal to some older listeners."[8] For Billboard 's cover story on Bieber, Herrera said, "Bieber croons, his voice straining as much from puberty as emotion. It's the closest he's come to fulfilling Braun's wish, by sounding like a certain young Motown star. "This is as unconditional as it'll ever get/You ain't seen nothing yet".[3]

Chart performance[edit]

Originally released as a digital-only single, the song debuted at number twenty-seven on the Billboard Hot 100, selling 83,000 downloads in its first week.[9] It also debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 at seventeen.[10] "U Smile" was the highest debut on the week on both charts.[10] The song initially stayed on both charts for a weeks' length. Following an official release to mainstream and rhythmic radio, the song re-entered the US Hot 100 at ninety-five on the week ending October 2, 2010.[11] Due to digital sales, the song also reached ninety-eight in the United Kingdom.[12]

Music video[edit]

Background and reception[edit]

Bieber seen in an empty theater playing the piano while blue and yellow spot lighting is seen in the background.

On September 30, 2010, the music video for "U Smile" premiered online, it was directed by Colin Tilley.[13] Bieber had stated that the video for "U Smile" was about "letting fans experience the ultimate fantasy for any hard-core Belieber: being Justin's girlfriend", further explaining in a tweet, "I took the opportunity 2 make a video 4 the fans, about a fan, and how we could fall IN LOVE."[13] Mawuse Ziegbe from MTV met the video with a positive review. Ziegbe felt that the video suggested "a more mature Bieber, who appears to relish the quiet moments with his gal pal away from the nonstop fan hysteria."[13] Ziegbe also felt that the video "displayed [Bieber's] skills as an instrumentalist, as he belts out the lyrics from behind a grand piano throughout much of the vid."[13]

Synopsis[edit]

Starting out in a black and white frame (and later incorporating scenes of color), a group of girls are seen standing outside on the street while Bieber is seen exiting a building while trying to walk away without getting noticed. This however, is unsuccessful as the girls run up to Bieber; he then takes pictures and signs autographs with the girls. While this is happening Bieber takes an interest with one particular girl asking her to meet him later on, to which she agrees. As the song starts playing Bieber is seen sitting in an empty auditorium playing the piano and singing. When Bieber's date shows up they sneak into an empty theater where they are seen; holding hands, horsing around on the theater's seats, and sliding down banisters. At the ending of the video they are seen engaging in a playful back-alley water fight and eventually collapse into each other's arms while Bieber is playing the piano back inside the theater.

Live performances[edit]

Bieber performed the song along with "Baby" on the eighteenth episode of season thirty five of Saturday Night Live.[14] He also performed the song in American Idol along with "Baby" on May 19, 2010.[15] Bieber performed the song at the 2010 Teen Choice Awards on August 9, 2010. The performance was pre-recorded because Bieber could not attend the event. The performance was filmed in Los Angeles on his My World Tour.

Slowed Version[edit]

In August 2010, music producer Nick Pittsinger used the sound processing software PaulStretch to create an 800% slower version of the album track, lasting around 35 minutes, which he made available via SoundCloud.[16] The modified track resembled a minimalist, ambient composition. By September 2 it had been discussed in multiple news articles, linked to from Bieber's website, and downloaded more than one million times.[17]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Source[18]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart[19] 65
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders Tip)[20] 21
Canadian Hot 100[10] 17
UK Singles Chart[12] 98
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 27
US Pop Songs[21] 26

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format
Canada August 9, 2010 Mainstream airplay[22]
United States August 24, 2010 Mainstream and rhythmic airplay[23][24]
October 12, 2010 Urban airplay[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Vena, Jocelyn (2010-03-16). "Justin Bieber Releases 'U Smile,' Announces Summer Tour Dates". MTV News. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  2. ^ Phillips, Tom (2010-08-18). "Slowed down Justin Bieber becomes an internet hit". Metro UK. Association Newspapers Limited. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  3. ^ a b Herrera, Monica (2010-03-19). "Justin Bieber - The Billboard Cover Story". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  4. ^ a b Greenblatt, Leah (2010-03-10). "Justin Bieber - My World 2.0 - Album Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  5. ^ Caramanica, Jon (2010-03-21). "Justin Bieber - My World 2.0 - Album Review". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  6. ^ "Justin BieberU Smile - Digital Music Sheet". Music Notes. Sony/ATV Music Publishing. 
  7. ^ "Justin Bieber - My World 2.0". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  8. ^ Herrera, Monica (2010-04-09). "Justin Bieber, "My World 2.0"". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  9. ^ a b Pietroluongo, Silvio (2010-03-25). "Rihanna Remains Atop Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  10. ^ a b c "Justin Bieber Music News & Info - Billboard.com". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  11. ^ "Week of October 02, 2010". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  12. ^ a b "Justin Bieber "U Smile" at ChartStats". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  13. ^ a b c d Ziegbe, Mawuse (2010-09-30). "Justin Bieber's U Smile Video Premieres". MTV News. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  14. ^ Wigler, Josh (2010-04-11). "Justin Bieber, Tina Fey Make A Dynamic Duo On 'Saturday Night Live'". MTV News. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved 2010-04-11. 
  15. ^ Carter, Kelley L. (2010-05-19 It was also released as a single video of the live performance, along with "Baby"). "Justin Bieber Performs 'U Smile'/ 'Baby' Medley On 'American Idol'". MTV News. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  16. ^ Lyons, Margaret (2010-08-18). "The man who slowed down Justin Bieber: 'It was a joke, and now it's this phenomenon'". Entertainment Weekly. 
  17. ^ Colter Walls, Seth (2010-09-02). "The Accidental Minimalist, Justin Bieber on slo-mo shakes up pop's idea of beautiful music". The Daily Beast. 
  18. ^ Justin Bieber My World 2.0 (Digital booklet) Island Records/Raymond-Braun Music Group. (2010)
  19. ^ "The ARIA Report: ARIA Top 100 Singles – Week Commencing 18th October 2010". ARIA Charts. Australian Recording Industry Association. October 18, 2010. Archived from the original on 21 November 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Justin Bieber - U Smile - austriancharts.at". austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  21. ^ "Chart Highlights: Pop, Rock, Gospel Songs & More". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2010-08-30. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  22. ^ "Going for Adds Canada (9 Aug 2010)". Radio & Records. Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  23. ^ "Top 40/M Future Releases". AllAccess. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  24. ^ "Available For Airplay". FMQB. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  25. ^ http://www.allaccess.com/urban/future-releases