June 21, 2024

Opinion: Justin Bieber’s new album serves no ‘Purpose’

Music blogger, David Bradford, reviews Canadian pop star, Justin Bieber’s new album “Purpose.”

[title_box title=”Opinion: Justin Bieber’s new album serves no ‘Purpose'”]

“It’s like you’re stuck on a treadmill/Running in the same place.”

No line more accurately describes “Purpose”, the fourth studio album by Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber. An album where Bieber shows maturation, but through that maturation, he gives into the same issues that plagued his earlier releases.

Based off the singles prior to this album’s release, Bieber appeared to be heading in a new direction sonically, as singles such as “Where Are U Now” and “What Do You Mean?” all featured synthetic island grooves with pitch-shifted vocals hanging in the background; however, this approach is only applied on the first four tracks and the second-to-last track “Children.”

Of course, the problem with the synthetic island grooves is the word synthetic. Instead of featuring organic island sounds, Bieber employs mega-producer Skrillex to incorporate fake horns and percussion without any energy. Other instrumental flavors include generic trap beats and a couple of bland piano ballads.

This album was not designed to showcase new instrumental ideas. Rather, it is a showcase of a new and improved Bieber who has had a rough 2014. From trouble with the law to his relationship with Selena Gomez, Bieber appeared to be spiraling downward.

“Purpose” is Bieber’s comeback not only musically, but emotionally. While I can appreciate Bieber wanting to show his self-improvement and just how “sorry” he is for the way he acted in the past, Bieber also attempts to portray just how much of a mess he was in the past.

This is where the problem with the album lies. Bieber’s lack of personality, vocal range and effective songwriting/lyrical skills prevent him from being an emotive artist. Yes, I understand that Bieber was depressed, but he does absolutely nothing to make me sympathize with him. His emotions are so plainly stated that it created a massive disconnect between his songs and I.

In addition, none of the songs on this album grab my attention. “What Do You Mean?” is a song that goes absolutely nowhere in its three and a half minutes. “Children” is a pathetically cheap and cheesy anthem placed against an unsatisfying dance beat. “Love Yourself” is a weak attempt at a self-love anthem with a horn solo so short and quiet I barely noticed it even transpired.

This album, in short, doesn’t really serve a purpose for me. Bieber does occasionally make the catchy single, but if this album was supposed to be uplifting or a showcase of how far Bieber has come, he might have shown that in his personal life, but musically he is still making uninteresting music with cliche lyrics.

Rating: 3/10

Best Track(s): Sorry, Company

Worst Track(s): Love Yourself, No Pressure, Children

The opinion of our writers/bloggers are not a reflection of the opinion of the Tennessee Journalist as a whole.

Featured Image by Kim Erlandsen, obtained via creativecommons.org

Edited by Jessica Carr