Review: Purpose by Justin Bieber

Purpose by Justin BieberI wasn’t supposed to review Justin Bieber’s fourth album, Purpose, simply because I didn’t really care much about him. Yes, I know his sound has been changing, and it’s been quite different from his annoying bubblegum R&B beginnings, but it wasn’t enough to make me do a second look. But then my social media feeds are filled with my friends – people who also wouldn’t otherwise be into Justin – express shock, yes, shock, that they’re liking the singles from Purpose. For the most part, it’s sophisticated and it’s bouncy and, perhaps most importantly considering the context, it’s not annoying. (Some veer a bit too close to pop territory… or maybe it’s my overfamiliarity, yes, with “Where Are U Now”.) An aural apology, perhaps, for the frenzied habits of death threat-yielding Beliebers and his own run-ins with the law these past few years? Perhaps. That aside, I waited for this moment to come. Justin couldn’t be stuck in that one lane, of course, and now he’s swerved, attempting to somewhat reinvent himself, and the results are interesting. This could be his Miley Cyrus moment, specifically when she released Bangerz. Better yet, this could be his Justin Timberlake moment. This could be him doing the equivalent of the older Justin crossing over from the teen side with 2002’s Justified, and refining it with his 2004 follow-up FutureSex/LoveSounds. He might still be able figure this out, and now he has my attention… if at least a little of it. I still can’t be arsed to listen to pop radio because of all the repeats. [NB] | 4/5


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