Justin Bieber Rides Heartbreak in New Song 'Roller Coaster'

Singer channels overseas loneliness on his latest 'Music Mondays' tune

Justin Bieber performs in Shanghai.
ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images
November 25, 2013 4:20 PM ET

Justin Bieber channels long-distance heartache on his funky new track "Roller Coaster," the latest installment of his "Music Mondays" series. 

The Evolution of Justin Bieber

"People come and go," Bieber sings over disco strings and synthesized bass, his voice morphing from a breezy falsetto to a deeper croon. "It's nights like this that I never, ever missed you more." He gets even more specific on the chorus: "Lonely overseas, only memories/ Wish I had the key to your heart."

But unlike many of Bieber's recent "Music Mondays" tracks (like last week's spacey slow-jam "PYD," featuring guest vocals from R. Kelly), "Roller Coaster" isn't melancholy. In fact, it's one of his most danceable tracks in recent memory: if the title weren't enough of a clue, the track's main groove sounds like a slowed-down homage to the Ohio Players' "Love Rollercoaster," the iconic funk anthem from their 1975 LP Honey.

Bieber's "Music Mondays" series will continue through mid-December and Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, says the singer is planning to release a "special movie on Christmas." Meanwhile, Bieber's South American tour has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons: he's been accused of spray-painting graffiti on a wall in Rio de Janeiro and debasing the flag of Argentina during a concert in Buenos Aires. In Brazil, a woman filmed him sleeping in his hotel room, and he faced a crowd of boos in Argentina after cutting a concert short due to food poisoning.

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