Few people are given the opportunity at redemption quite like Justin Bieber got in 2015. Up until the epic moment that was him breaking down after a performance of What Do You Mean? at the MTV Video Music Awards, it seemed that anytime the Biebs name came up it had something to do with a poor choice he had made for whatever reason. I’ve never actually been one to criticize his behaviors – I’d probably be doing a lot of the same things he was if I was a kid in my early 20s with hit records, millions of dollars, and the interest of every single female on the planet. Well, after much personal scrutiny Bieber dropped off a classic album – Purpose – which pretty much validated everything the kid has ever done. With the release of each single, he grabbed the attention of the general public with ease. Where Are U Now didn’t really count because for the most part people believed it was a Skrillex & Diplo record featuring Bieber, and What Do You Mean? was just a precursor – most people didn’t actually admit that they were Beliebers at this point, but they could feel it coming. Once Sorry hit the airwaves, it was a wrap and Justin had everyone listening. Love Yourself could possibly be the best record of the entire year – I know I played it on repeat for the next week with zero shame whatsoever. I’m still not sure why we’re not talking more about how incredible it is that this guy made a song about telling an ex to go F themselves in such a well-mannered way. Everyone from 12 year old kids in middle school to young adults beginning careers were completely enthralled by Justin’s music. Purpose gave us a more vulnerable Bieber – not that his music wasn’t relatable before, but this time around it seemed as if he was “adult” enough to actually have conviction in his words. There’s moments where JB humanizes himself so much that you are hearing him on a very basic human-to-human level, and it helps in being able to appreciate him as an artist. With his fourth studio album, he used Purpose to show that he is still a stellar pop-star; but the sounds were shaped much more by the influences of Skrillex and Diplo rather than going for an obvious commercial sound, and for that Bieber has to be respected for a taking a risk. An artist in a spotlight such as him doesn’t have as much freedom to take losses from creative chances. There are a few negatives about Purpose, for me. The first: it was incredibly long. It’s hard to hold my attention for an entire album that’s around 12 songs, let alone something that’s 18 tracks long. Also, the Big Sean feature was cringe-worthy as it seems we really are watching him turn into the next Flo Rida. All in all though, Purpose was great. We saw a young man grow into an adult and felt all of the feelings that come along with such transition. Once again Justin Bieber has everyone’s attention, and if Purpose is any indicator it seems like he’ll have it for a long time to come.
Stream Justin Bieber‘s Purpose here via Spotify.