Every aspiring pop star these days needs lots of club-fillers on the album: the lead single, the lead single after the lead single, then a couple afterward that can serve as the fourth or fifth track out, tiding radio and remixers over while the next album’s in the works. They don’t have to be standouts; they just need a teensy bit of melodic beauty and a beat. Like so.
The beat, at least, is present; it’s the same workmanlike club strobing you’ve heard on everything. The beauty’s present, too; Bieber’s falsetto on “all… I need, is a beauty and a beat” could be the five-second pitch that got this song on the album over what were undoubtedly dozens of other attempts. Having beauty and a beat, however, is minimum for a single. (It’s a romanic metaphor in the song, so Bieber’ll learn that lesson in a few years.) To be a great single, you need personality, but here Bieber’s only distinctive on lines like “what you’ve got, a billion could have never bought” (i.e. the same money focus as “your platinum, your silver, your gold” or “I’ll buy you any ring”). Everything else would be equally suited to Taio Cruz or Chris Brown or even LMFAO–”body rock, girl I can feel your body rock” is one twist of inflection away from “party rock,” and if you listen while squinting, it even sounds like Redfoo singing. The most distinctive thing about “Beauty,” in fact, might be the lyric “we’re going to party like it’s 3012 tonight,” which is going to sound bloody silly should anyone in 3012 ever encounter this track. But let’s not judge too harshly; it’s not as if clubgoers or background listeners will pay that close attention.
One more thing: what exactly is Nicki Minaj implying here: “(breathy) Justin Bieber, I’m gonna hit him with the ether / buns out, wiener”? Is Nicki Minaj seriously talking about drugging Justin Bieber? Forget whether Selen-er ever finds out–this is not an appropriate metaphor for, er, anything.