If Justin’s original “Baby” is fluffy, flavorful bubblegum, Drew’s “Baby” is a three-course meal of teenage angst, yearning and obsession. The words “I thought you’d always be mine” are a lot heavier when the arrangement features minor chords on a mournful piano. The cleverest bit is Drew’s take on the chorus, where she flips the melody to include a devastating half-yodel, her voice cracking with each “Baby.”
In other words, the star of Bieber’s “Baby” is singing to a girl at recess. The protagonist in Drew’s version is in her room, anguished and maybe Facebook-stalking her ex. This is dark. And awesome.
All four “X Factor” judges – including LA Ried who signed Bieber to Island/Def Jam – were blown away. L.A. called it “soulful” and “believable.” Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell went further, saying they preferred Drew’s dark spin to Bieber’s recording. “This is exactly what I wanted a 14-year-old to do in this competition,” Cowell gushed. “Most importantly, people your age would buy your version of that song.”
(A-hem, Simon. People twice her age would buy it, too. Race that girl to a studio and release it on iTunes ASAP!)
So now that the professional industry execs have given it two (or eight?) thumbs up, we want to know which version you prefer: Bieber’s upbeat original or Drew’s heartbreaking lament? Vote, after the jump!
(The song begins at the 2:30 mark.)
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