Justin Bieber seems to have found a new purpose with his new record, and is determined to go only one direction: up.
The twenty-one year-old pop star released his fourth studio effort, Purpose, last Friday, available now worldwide.
The thirteen track album (eighteen track deluxe) is the product of more than two years of long, hard work; and it sure sounds like it. The album itself, something that can only be described as an EDM/R&B emotional roller-coaster, was written and recorded during a particularly troubling time in Bieber’s life. After an arrest, jail time, legal fees, public crucifixion by the media and the like, a new Justin emerges from the ashes. He has found a purpose. He shares his journey with us.
The album starts off with the soulful “Mark My Words”. The atmospheric, Skrillex-produced “I’ll Show You“, a highlight of the album, details Bieber’s frustration with the picture a ratings-hungry media paints of an artist; one biased and cruel, and invites us to look through a different perspective. The BB200 #1 smash hit “What Do You Mean?“, co-produced by Bieber himself, tells the story of a confusing relationship, one potentially inspired by former girlfriend Selena Gomez. He experiments with dance-hall sounds and effects for the top 10 hit-and-growing “Sorry“, also co-produced by Skrillex. Bieber teams up with Benny Blanco and Ed Sheeran for the fiery, acoustic anthem “Love Yourself“.
Purpose features a list long of collaborations (Big Sean, Travis Scott, Diplo), but perhaps the most notable of them all is contributed to a feature with pop artist Halsey. Halsey gained impressive popularity over the past summer with her debut album Badlands, although some may argue her work is mediocre and even a direct imitation of indie pop artist Sky Ferriera. Surprisingly, her collaboration with Justin, entitled “The Feeling“, is new, refreshing and personally, everything I believe her music not to be. Yikes.
Also included on the standard edition of the album is “Where Are U Now“, the hit EDM collaboration with music producers Skrillex and Diplo. “I gave you attention when nobody else was paying”, an audibly hurt Bieber sings. Love does seem to be a constant theme on this album, but another quite obvious theme present on the record is Justin’s obsession with finding a “purpose”. He seems to be in search of motivation, and closure. “Life is Worth Living” gives us insight on the positive side of life, or Bieber’s view of it at least. “Who’s got the heart, wear it on your sleeve, we can make a difference”, he urges on the big room-influenced “Children“.
But there are two things that separate Bieber from his current contemporaries; maturity and growth. While artists such as One Direction continue to virtually release and repackage the same album and over again, something even Bieber himself was arguably guilty of, Bieber shows his overall growth in both the quality and sales department. In terms of quality, although this album contains no explicit tracks, it does deal with much more adult themes than his previous work, and makes it quite evident to any of his doubters that he is no longer the cute little teenager singing “Baby” on a Radio Disney stage. Bieber is a grown man now.
While other artists push out albums in a clear attempt by their management to exploit their gargantuan fanbase of mostly teenage girls, Bieber’s record took time and effort, and with time comes growth and maturity. No longer is Bieber’s fanbase comprised solely of mostly teenage girls; his general audience has grown to a much greater crowd. And in terms of sales, Purpose is set to debut at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 200 at around 525,000 copies, his best first week in terms of sales, almost 100,000 copies ahead of the remaining members of One Direction’s latest effort.
The reason why Justin’s project seems more genuine than other artists’ is simple: it’s not just an album packed with similar sounding work; it’s a project. And to Justin, it’s a movement. In a move that echoes in the footsteps of albums like Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP, Justin has expressed a passion for artistic creation and control on his own work, and it’s certainly paying off. And for this, I applaud Justin Bieber and his newest album, Purpose.
What did you think of the review? Tweet us at @CelebMix and let us know!
If you’d like to purchase a copy of Justin’s new album, the links are down below for you.