Listen: Justin Bieber goes up, then down in ‘Roller Coaster’

What a difference (not having) R. Kelly makes.

Last week the R&B star gave a shot of energy to Justin Bieber’s so-called Music Mondays series with his long-rumored appearance on “PYD,” an appealingly raunchy slow jam that got listeners talking about Bieber’s music (as opposed to his antics) for the first time in what felt like forever.

A mere seven days later, though, no one seems to be talking at all about Bieber’s latest Music Mondays single, “Roller Coaster,” which appeared online late Sunday -- just as Kelly was driving attention elsewhere with his presidential performance with Lady Gaga on the American Music Awards.

“Roller Coaster” doesn’t deserve to be buried.


True, its amusement-park metaphor feels like a pretty tired way to address the ups and downs of love -- especially as compared to Kelly’s more inspired description of a forensic scientist hitting the club in “PYD.”

But the song’s groove is one of the funkiest Bieber has given us yet, with echoes of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’s classic work for Janet Jackson. Listen to it below.


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Twitter: @mikaelwood