By Abby Gray
For the past two years, the name “Justin Bieber” has notoriously echoed throughout the media for a number of teenage mishaps, such as peeing in a bucket, smoking pot, cussing out paparazzi, and famously being arrested in Miami, January 2014. His first studio album since the release of Believe in 2012, Purpose proves itself to be somewhat of a redemption record. Bieber shows off his impressive vocals, as well as his talent in variety of genres.
The album, which was released on November 13, has 12 songs for $9.99, and the deluxe version costs $12.99, with six extra tracks. Like the rest of Bieber’s studio albums, Purpose was produced by Def Jam Records and holds a combination of pop, R&B, and EDM records.
From the defensive, somber lyrics of “I’ll Show You”, “this life’s not easy, I’m not made out of steal, you forget that I’m human, you forget that I’m real,” to the upbeat catchy edm turned pop shown in “Children” and his number one hit, “What Do You Mean,” Bieber’s new take on music is refreshing in the midst of stereotypical pop songs.
Bieber shows off his amazing vocals in the album, hitting high notes flawlessly, and showing off his recently matured voice. “Love Yourself” is a lower toned acoustic guitar tune, co-written by Ed Sheeran, while Bieber manages to impress us with his higher register in the piano ballad, “Life is Worth Living”
While the album is more than a sufficient comeback, it still manages some flaws. Some of the tunes sound like little pieces of different songs put together, for a bit of a stop and go feeling. A section of the tracks slow down a bit, with unfinished sounding songs with a rap feature thrown in to seemingly keep the listener from hitting the skip button. Repetitive lyrics are very present, and while catchy, they can sometimes make you wish Bieber had just come up with two more lines to replace the droning of, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
Recently, Bieber seems to have taken a different path, allowing EDM and techno beats to consume many of his recent hits, but he didn’t let the catchy new sounds overtake his entire album. Bieber weaved in ballads and emotional lyrics that will bring you back to his earlier days when the sixteen year old kid sang “U Smile” and “Down to Earth.” On the new album, songs like “Mark My Words” and the title track itself, “Purpose,” are slowed down and honesty seeps through, maybe bringing you to respect Biebs a little more.
Some of Bieber’s previous hits such as “Baby” and “As Long As You Love Me” seemed directly aimed at the millions of teenage girls following his every move aka “Beliebers,” but the new records prove themselves different. Instead of sappy love song after sappy love song, Bieber takes on a more mature sound, for a wider range of audiences to enjoy. In fact, five tracks on the album, have absolutely nothing to do with the Bieb’s love life. And for the remaining tracks, a different approach proves the songs less “teen sensation” and more “It doesn’t matter how old you are, you’re going to like this song.” And based off of the album’s shocking sales, the world seems to agree.
Pop band One Direction, released their album Made in the AM on the same day as Bieber’s Purpose, but their played out album didn’t stand a chance. While 1D continued releasing music for teen girls, Bieber took on a whole new audience with over 525,000 copies sold in the first week (Billboard). Bieber’s album is predicted to debut at #1 on Billboard’s charts overshadowing Made in the AM, and making Purpose Bieber’s 6th number one album in a row.
This album holds amazing variety and emotion, with vocal talent that you can’t deny. It’s Bieber’s best album yet. Everyone, whether you think you hate Bieber or love him, should give this comeback album a shot.