With multiple arrest warrants under his belt and a petition boasting over 270,000 signatures calling for his deportation, it’s no wonder that Justin Bieber’s most recent studio album, Purpose, revolves around forgiveness and apologies. In just a few short years, Bieber has transformed from a pint-sized adolescent with shockingly good pipes into a moody, angst-ridden teenager with an affinity for dangerous driving and egging his neighbor’s house. However, while Bieber’s behavior has become annoyingly predictable, Purpose debuts some genuinely likeable tunes with a more mature flavor. With tropical house and hip hop influences scattered throughout, the Biebs’ fourth album is by far his most sincere effort to distance himself from his tween pop years and rebrand himself as a serious contender in the music business.
The album opens with “Mark My Words”, a blatant tribute to Selena Gomez and their weird on-again, off-again relationship. More importantly, it sets the tone for the rest of the album, which is centered on the themes of regret and redemption. After getting through the first two songs, Bieber lightens up a bit with “What Do You Mean?” and “Sorry”, two of the singles that were released prior to the album. These are by far the highlight of Purpose, showcasing Bieber’s growth since his last album with some cool house vibes. Also worth noting are “Love Yourself” for its subtle use of trumpet, “Been You” and “The Feeling” featuring Halsey. As for those of you that are nostalgic for the old Justin with his swooping hair and squeaky voice, don’t worry- there are plenty of classic Bieber ballads to bring you to tears, if only for his shameless use of awful cliches.
Whether you love or hate the Biebs, you’ve got to hand it to him- he has turned some questionable life choices into a solid collection of music that you will most likely catch yourself humming on your way to class or throwing down to over the weekend. Is Purpose just what the world needs to reignite the ever-dwindling Bieber Fever? I guess only time will tell.
Lindsey Tucker is one of the Alt/Top 200 genre directors at KSTO.