Justin Bieber is developing quite the knack for creating smooth, holiday-specific slow jams harmless enough for your mom to add to her playlist, yet filled with plenty of sexual innuendo to make us rethink his 17 young years. While he spent the last night of 2011 singing to a flock of cold New Yorkers with new friend Carlos Santana, he gifted his 16 million Twitter followers with a previously recorded track assisted by old pal Jaden Smith, in honor of the monumental smooch one is always secretly hoping for on December 31. Because we here at Popdust are in agreement that all holidays should come with presents—MLK Day is only 14 days away! On “Happy New Year,” the duo takes a typically celebratory, party-driven night and transforms it into a cool, understated vehicle of age-appropriate seduction. Laced with Smith’s staccato delivery (“hu-huh-huh-huh-huh-huh heartbeat”) and with references to Root Beer—see, kid-tested, mother-approved!—Bieber sings through the steps it’ll take for him to get his kiss at the stroke of midnight. His voice is almost unrecognizable—hey, health teacher, when does one stop experiencing “changes”?—continuing his year of vocal maturity and ball-dropping. Despite being younger, a wise Jaden is confident that the world is not ending anytime soon (“Mayans were lying / Nobody’s dying”), at least not before his major label debut. Like his previous holiday experiment “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” Bieber is not about to pass up the opportunity for a spoken word reminder of what this holiday is all about: “2012 is the year to be better, stronger, and closer to the people around you. So grab someone special, and just, you know.” Oh we know, Justin.
While it’s probably not going to make the cut for his 2012 album Believe, take this as an indicator of the sort of sound Bieber is going for—”real sexy,” that is—and imagine the possibilities when 18 and over collaborators like Drake and Kanye West are in the booth. Listen to it now, before 360-ish days pass and it’s all you hear. Ever.