Will.i.am's Justin Bieber Duet 'That Power' Sounds Like His Britney Spears Duet: Schlocky

'#willpower' is set to be released on April 9

Will.i.am, Justin Bieber,
"Power" couple: Will.i.am and Justin Bieber / Photos by Getty Images
Marc Hogan WRITTEN BY
Marc Hogan

You can almost hear the fake Scott Walker cover now.

Mountain Goats main man John Darnielle was, of course, right when he sang not to "be an asshole" to Justin Bieber. Will.i.a.m, who's set to release long-delayed album #willpower on April 9, deserves his breathing room, too. But there's an obvious (we hope) difference between in-your-face paparazzi and measured critique. And club-humping Will.i.am-Bieber collaboration "That Power," though no doubt headed for heavy airplay across the Clear Channel empire, is all too easy to criticize.

The anemic subwoofer pulse of Will.i.am's Britney Spears team-up "Scream & Shout" meets the Bieber-as-house-diva vocal swoop of the Believe singer's Nicki Minaj team-up "Beauty and a Beat." But in those car-horn synth bleats, over-inflated choruses, and reheated rhymes, there's little beauty, a bland beat, and certainly no reason to scream or shout.

"They hate on me 'cause I'm doin' what they cain't," Will.i.am insists. Maybe. Remember that time he debuted a song on Mars? But also, they're hating on him because even after silencing most knee-jerks with Black Eyed Peas' world-conquering "I Gotta Feeling," he keeps cranking out lazy songs like this one. The lowest common denominator keeps getting lower.

Oh well: "Whatever doesn't kill ya only makes ya stronger," Will.i.am Auto-wheezes. Nietzsche was right! No one man — or woman — should have all that power.

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