After all the scandals, outbursts and bad boy behavior, Justin Bieber’s newest album, “Purpose,” has finally been released. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. Is it good enough to change his image? Probably not — but it’s a start.
Bieber has teased that this album is different than his other albums, and normally it would be wise to shrug it off as just another thing all artists say, but he might be right. In “Purpose,” Bieber owns up to his mistakes and immaturity with a type of snarky arrogance that can only be expected from the singer, but he does it in a slick, “blink or you’ll miss it” kind of way. The album begins with “Mark My Words,” his proclamation that he’s not one to give up so easily. It’s a bold opening track, but with lyrics like, “after all that we’ve been through / I’ma show you more than I ever could say,” it’s hard not to believe him.
Keeping with this theme of being brutally honest and self-reprimanding, the most scathing song on the album is “Love Yourself.” The musically sweet song is cleverly titled like a moody ballad, but that doesn’t mean that it is. This could be seen as Bieber’s “diss track,” as he calls out an unknown girl for still thinking about him when he feels nothing at all for her.
“I’ll Show You” is a dark, mellow tune that has Bieber singing of the reality of fame. He has constantly told the media that he’s “only human,” but this is his chance to actually show you what he means when he says that. Of course, in true Bieber fashion, it’s not just a vulnerable track, but a middle finger to his critics. “Act like you know me,” he sings, “but you never will.”
The most heartfelt and deeply-emotional track on the album has to be “Purpose.” The piano-driven song doesn’t have Bieber asking for forgiveness, but acceptance. Similar to the song “Believe” on his 2012 album of the same name, this is his song thanking his fans that have stayed by him. It’s a humble thank you and considering what they’ve had to deal with, it’s definitely needed.
The most refreshing part of “Purpose” is the featured artists. With Big Sean, Travis Scott, Nas and Halsey, Bieber shows that he didn’t just pick who’s currently on the radio now. There really is a type of power that comes from a feature on a singer’s album and the strongest one is “The Feeling” with Halsey. Over a dreamy, mystical melody, Bieber and Halsey mull over whether it’s love or lust — something that most people can relate to.
Bieber came strong with “Purpose,” especially by using an EDM powerhouse like Skrillex, but the real change was in his lyrics. This album is monumentally different from his embarrassingly cheesy “Baby” days and the safe, friendly tunes of “Believe.” There are 19 tracks on the album, so clearly Bieber has been waiting to tell you how he’s been feeling for quite some time. All you have to do is listen.