Justin Bieber released his latest album, Justice, this past Friday and if you hyped this up like his last album, let me save you the trouble. Justice doesn’t achieve the same lasting effect as Changes. Like his last album, there’s a heavy inspiration from faith and Martin Luther King Jr. If this sounds strange, it is. It’s so out of place and is the first piece of audio you’ll hear on track one, “2 Much.” The singer is already receiving mixed feedback on the album, with some not appreciating MLK’s addition while others see it as a timely thing.
Bieber has come a long way from his pop and purple-dressed, shaggy hair-wearing days dancing for the girls. Justice solidifies his stance on religion and how faith can be life-changing as it has been for him. The artist acknowledges that much of the world is suffering, especially with the recent social injustices that have plagued this nation for decades. He provided a sense of truth and hope by incorporating his faith in Changes and continues to do so in Justice, although the overall experience comes across as a little stale.
A sense of truth
Nothing is heard in this 16-tracklisting that isn’t premeditated or signifying some other pop-Esque vibe that we usually hear every day. Bieber wants to stand out not only from other stars, but from his past self as much of the album is about moving on from past mistakes and celebrating the two people that have stood by him: his wife and his faith. To me, the listening experience was a clone of Changes and did little to differentiate itself from its predecessor. As Bieber talks about throughout, there are moments of weakness and temptation, but he continues to rise above it all through music. Few tracks stand out from others in the album except for his “Peaches” collaboration with Daniel Caesar and Giveon.
MLK returns for track seven as an interlude, talking about social injustice followed by more tracks about Bieber’s wife. The tone shifts when MLK is introduced intermittently to something serious and then we go back to the artist talking about Hailey Bieber. I understand that MLK signifies and talks about living with passion as better than not living with a passion — which Bieber uses to show his passion for music — but something about it didn’t sit right with me and was unnecessary. I can’t say the album is entirely about his faith, as there are pieces about his wife and the undying love he expresses for her.
Your touch blurred my vision/It's your world, and I'm just in it
Lack of inspiration
It's clear that much of his inspiration comes from his wife, but it seems tiring at this point. Bieber attempts to make his messages universal, like with “Somebody” talking about having a shoulder to cry on, or “Lonely” with the struggles of depression and mental health. The artist is moving away from rap, it seems, although slowly. His 2020 collaboration with Quavo on “Intentions” is a recent example; yet, even on this tracklist, he appears beside Chance the Rapper (“Holy”) and Khalid (“As I Am”). The R&B just doesn’t seem like who he is anymore.
Die For You
Off My Face
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