Justin Bieber has been many things over the past 6 years; mature is one thing that evades that list. And rightfully so. When Bieber became famous in 2009, he was a scrawny 15 year-old with a scrawny 15 year-old voice. He was the kid that all of the parents felt comfortable letting their daughters idolize because his image was so clean-cut and he was so charming in interviews. But at the same time, just like any other kid (famous or not), Justin started to change. He became more rebellious, he started to do stupid teenager things. He fell into the trap of being a “child star”.
Once his fame was solidified, Justin became a bit of a bad boy. He started getting tattoos, fighting paparazzi, drinking and smoking, partying, sleeping with prostitutes, egging neighbors’ houses, peeing in janitor’s mop buckets while drunkenly screaming “Fuck Bill Clinton!”, drunkenly drag-racing….it’s been a rough few years for JB.
So when Bieber’s team finally decided to pull him out of the limelight and allow him to release a shockingly amazing R&B album with ‘Journals’, it seemed like maybe all of the fuckery was good for Bieber. Since he ruined his own “bubblegum pop, idolized by 10-15 year old girls” image, we saw a darker Bieber. Not really darker in the sense of the lyric of his songs, but a more real and honest Bieber. The ‘Journals’ album was not promoted much, but the style of music sounded much more authentic. It felt like “Justin”, not what was being forced upon us for years. That was the very end of 2013; Justin was 19 and going through a highly publicized break-up with Disney’s popstar Selena Gomez.
2014 was rough for Bieber, but it was a year that saw Justin realize his stupid arrests and antics were going to leave him as a forgotten, fucked-up child star that couldn’t handle fame. And he’s admitted that he almost lost himself to fame. 2015 was the official re-launch of Justin Bieber; or should we say the official relaunch of Justin’s image. Much of Bieber’s press this year has been centered around showing that he can make fun of his terrible choices of the past and on how he’s past it now. He’s showing that he’s 21 now; much of the childish ways (what all high school/college-aged kids go through) is past him. He’s showing how he’s serious about music again, how he’s grateful for his fans and the life that they have given him, and most importantly how he’s ready to be the Bieber he wants to see himself be. He’s found his purpose. Finally.
Hence, Purpose, Justin’s fourth studio album, which is his best work yet. He’s found his lane, he’s found his sound. Earlier this year, Justin partnered with Diplo and Skrillex for the worldwide smash “Where Are Ü Now”, and he hasn’t looked back since then. After realizing that sound worked for him, Justin then partnered with Skrillex for more of the Purpose’s biggest tropical EDM-pop moments, including current single “Sorry.” Below, I’ve pulled my favorite songs from the album. Check them out:
“I’ll Show You”
Probably my favorite song on the album. Skrillex is showing his diversity when it comes to production, as this is so far from what we’ve come to expect from Skrillex. Justin’s delivery and vocals are great, but the production is what allows this one to shine. I hope this becomes a big JB in the next few months.
I just need one more shot at forgiveness…Please, oh please give me one more chance to redeem myself tonight…Is it too late now to say sorry?
Justin’s world comes full circle on this worldly pop smash. It’s the catchiest apology you’ve ever heard, and that’s exactly what Justin needed after the downward spiral he’s been on the past couple of years. Skrillex once again kills it.
“No Pressure” f/ Big Sean
I’ve said it time and time again, but R&Bieber wins everytime. Everytime. R&Bieber is the man. And in a day and age where R&B’s brightest stars aren’t even doing R&B justice, it’s amazing to me that JB connect to the root of what R&B is, and so well. The adlibs on here are ridiculous! Big Sean’s verse on here is also top notch.
“No Sense” f/ Travis Scott
Justin Brown. R&Bieber strikes again on “No Sense”, and I can’t help but be reminded of a young Chris Brown (“Poppin” anybody?) on this track. Super, super dope track. And always good to hear
Kanye Travis Scott do his thing.
“The Feeling” f/ Halsey
If “I’ll Show You” isn’t promoted as JB’s next big single, this for sure will be. It starts off as a seductive, jungle vibe before exploding into a euphoric pop smash. Shoutout to Halsey for elevating the chorus to the next level. And Skrillex again for the epic production.
“Life Is Worth Living”
Vocals and piano strokes: that’s all you need sometimes. Tying right back into the them of album, “Life Is Worth Living” not only shows Bieber singing about knowing your worth (and your purpose in life), but it sees Justin show off his much matured vocal ability. Over the past 2 years, Justin’s voice has really become one of the better voices in pop music. In a couple years time, JB might be surprising us with huge power ballads. but we’ll see. Beautiful song, beautiful lyrics.
“Where Are Ü Now”
Simply put, this is one my favorite songs of the year, of any genre. It’s so infectious. And when it first came out, there was nothing like it. Diplo and Skrillex really created a masterpiece that could be enjoyed by all cultures around the world, and to this day it stills sounds fresh as hell.
Another high point of this album lies in the visuals. When the albums was released on Friday, Justin then released a visual for each song to his Youtube page hour-by-hour. And the videos weren’t Beyoncé -style extravaganzas. They were simply, yet very cinematic. And alot of them starred dancers and choreographers (who also played directors for the vids), as opposed to Justin himself. I love how he allowed others to shine and show their ‘Purpose’ in his place. Super dope move from Biebs. Overall, this album is pretty damn lit. Kudos to all parties involved. And hopefully, this marks a new beginning for Bieber. Though, he’s still super young so who knows. But let’s enjoy all the positive vibes while we can.