Bieber’s ‘Purpose’ reveals more than his apologies

Julia Cherner

Following many months of publicity, Justin Bieber released his long-awaited comeback album, “Purpose,” on Nov. 13.  

courtesy of def jam records
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After almost a year of remorseful talk show appearances, a brutal Comedy Central roast, and a teary performance on MTV’s Video Music Awards stage, Bieber released the grand finale of apologies: an album devoted to reinventing his image after a number of tumultuous years in the media. However, this album is more than a public apology and comeback––it marks Bieber’s full transition into adulthood, shedding his teen pop heartthrob status along the way. Though compilation album, “Journals,” showed a mature Bieber, “Purpose” sheds him in a fully-fledged adult light.

As a long-time Belieber myself, I’ve spent the last three years constantly defending Bieber and his controversial behavior. But now that he has finally come out of his dark phase and is ready to move on, millions of other Beliebers and I can finally relax and enjoy the music.

“Purpose” contains collaborations with many high profile artists, some of whom wouldn’t seem to mesh with Bieber’s style.

Bieber teams up with singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran for a slow jam “Love Yourself,” one of the album’s highlights. Initially released as a single just days before the whole album, “Love Yourself” showcases Bieber’s vocal range, as well as his emotional range. Bieber sassily sings, “My mama don’t like you and she likes everyone,” a dig to whomever he is subtly addressing. The straightforward lyrics paint Bieber as the fan’s peer, not a superstar musician. The tune is catchy and Bieber’s vocals coupled with those of Sheeran make for a stripped-down, soon-to-be radio hit.

“The Feeling” is one of the best songs on the album. Bieber’s signature smooth voice is layered over alternative up-and-comer Halsey’s high notes. The song has a catchy dance beat and the lyrics are equally poppy. “Am I in love with you?/Or am I in love with the feeling?/Trying to find the truth/But sometimes the heart is deceiving,” Bieber croons.

However, not every song on the album is a hit, and sometimes Bieber’s apology feels forced rather than sincere.

Christian-influenced ballad “Life is Worth Living” feels very cliche, from the title to the lyrics to the melody, though Bieber’s acoustic vocals are reminiscent of his earlier works.

Overall, “Purpose” proves Bieber’s best album yet and is sitting at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, becoming Bieber’s sixth No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album also shattered The Beatles’ and Drake’s record of most simultaneous Hot 100 hits––each had 14, with 17 songs on the Hot 100.