Under the Mistletoe offers the Biebertron in holiday mode, piping his way through 11 standards and originals with the help of half a dozen famous buddies, whose performances generally outclass his by quite a stretch. The guests are the album's saving grace. Only half the tracks feature Bieber on his own – of these, the acoustic Silent Night is most likely to have Beliebers swooning – and they pale next to Fa La La, with its twinkling Boyz II Men harmonies, and his duet with Mariah Carey. Bieber actually holds his own against her gusty attack, but he's no match for Usher's lounge-soul suppleness on The Christmas Song or Busta Rhymes's raucous flow on Drummer Boy. Bieber could well turn into something interesting one day, but until he does, you wouldn't want to spend too long under the mistletoe with him.
Caroline Sullivan writes about rock and pop for the Guardian