Until the singing begins, the new version doesn’t seem radically different from the existing hit — the same keyboards and trap-light beats are there, but this time there’s a subdued pedal steel and Tyler Hubbard introducing Bieber’s baby-talk chorus with, “Yo JB, talk to ’em one time.”
Then it gets weird: Bieber sings his opening verse in an over-the-top drawl to reinforce the “country” aspect of it, promising his beloved, “Ain’t on the side, you’re number one/Every time I come around you get ‘er done.” Florida Georgia Line manage to outdo him, using their verse for a one-of-a-kind food metaphor. “I’ve been up in Waffle House but you my Chick-Fil-A/And I’ve been into waffle fries since our first date/Ain’t got time for playin’ I’m gonna clean your whole plate/Girl I’m gonna lick it up,” they sing.
Bieber has been busily promoting Changes for the last couple of weeks, making an appearance as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live as well as The Tonight Show, and then doing a new edition of “Carpool Karaoke” on Tuesday’s Late Late Show With James Corden. Bieber also made a guest appearance on Dan + Shay’s recent country hit “10,000 Hours.”
Florida Georgia Line, meanwhile, recently parted ways with their longtime manager at Big Loud, though they still remain signed to Big Machine Label Group — owned, perhaps not coincidentally, by Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun. Their latest single is “Blessings” from the album Can’t Say I Ain’t Country.