Remember the three months last year when we were all obsessed with Justin Bieber?
A look back at a love affair shorter than Hiddleswift
Where were you this time last year? Perhaps you were listening to Adele’s new single, Hello, and pondering whether it was as good as her old stuff. Perhaps you were asking your friend who this Jeremy Corbyn bloke was, and how he’d just been voted leader of the Labour Party.
Whatever you were doing, one thing’s for sure: you’d been thinking a lot about Justin Bieber, and how he was the single greatest living musician on planet Earth.
Next week, Bieber is playing a string of sell-out gigs in London – the tickets to which went on sale at the end of last year. The lucky few who managed to get some were in hysterics at the time, but now there’s just one problem: they most likely stopped caring about Justin Bieber a good eight months ago.
Sure, we loved him when Where Are Ü Now came out. How couldn’t we? The velvet autotune and drip-drop bass offered us something we’d never heard before, and we lapped it up. By the time Purpose came out, then, we were all die-hard Beliebers. Gone was the boy who’d sung Baby and Mistletoe, replaced by this peroxide-locked gent who’d arrived on a tide of lustrous bangers to change pop music for the better.
There was Love Yourself, fizzing with stripped-back cynicism and Ed Sheeran harmonies; I’ll Show You, with its slow, sensuous kickdrum and tantalising POV video. Mark My Words, No Pressure, Company – all too sexy for their own good. And, of course, Sorry: a song which we all felt was a heartfelt apology to us, the listener, for everything he’d done before.
With every tick of the tick-tock-ticking intro to What Do You Mean?, the clock was wound back on Justin’s past mistakes. That haircut, that paparazzi altercation, all those times he was caught on camera (or by the police) for generally being a massive dick. Justin said Sorry, and we gave him one more shot at forgiveness.
2015 became the year of Justin Bieber, and for a couple of months everybody loved him. Then the clock ran out.
When was the last time you listened to Love Yourself? Have you still got Purpose on your laptop? Did you even download the song he did with Major Lazer? Every day since he dropped that album, Justin has slowly crept back to the A-list obscurity from whence he came. Now, save for the odd white-guy-with-dreadlocks controversy or rogue VMA appearance, no-one really gives a shit.
We forgot about Justin as quickly as we remembered him, as is often the case in this fickle world. It’s just, we really forgot about him. When you think back to your Bieber obsession, it probably feels like a bad dream – and the nights we spent belting out “I KNOW-OW-OW THAT I LET YOU DOWN” on dancefloors are ones we’ve tried hard to live down since.
One year on, all that’s left of our Bieber devotion is a fistful of once-catchy tunes and a catalogue of memories. Memories of the nights we spent dancing to Children; memories of the morning when we forked out hundreds to secure ourselves tickets to see him live 12 months down the line.
Memories of the happy time when, if only for a couple of months, we were all united by our unexpected love of Justin Bieber.