I never thought Justin Bieber would be an artist whose music I would truly enjoy. I don’t believe in hating and bashing someone I’ve never met, so I can proudly say I have never hated the guy himself. But as a music critic, I can safely apply the words ‘tremendous dislike’ to most of his previous albums. With the ‘turning over a new leaf’ in 2015 and the official end of his ‘bad boy behaviour’, came three tracks that completely changed a lot of opinions about his music.
‘Where are You Now’ by Skrillex and Diplo with Justin was an immediate smash hit because of the drastic change in his musical style. With the incorporation of a more EDM sound and an impressive falsetto, Justin Bieber comes across as vulnerable, broken and raw in all the right ways, a side that we love seeing in pop stars who seem perfect and unattainable. The collaboration with Skrillex and Diplo was a genius move to make on Justin’s part because it created exposure to EDM fans while also allowing him to explore a new genre. The music video for ‘Where are You Now’ went viral immediately for the brilliant concept of animating and incorporating fans’ artwork into each frame.
‘What Do You Mean?’ is the first solo track and lead single off Justin Bieber’s upcoming album Purpose, and is definitely a game changer. There was also a lot of genius marketing that happened before the release of the song considering Purpose is Justin’s first album in 3 years. Various celebrities posted pictures or videos of themselves doing a count down to the song’s release date which created MAJOR buzz around the track and the album. Celebrities who did the countdown included Ellen DeGeneres, Ryan Seacrest, Mariah Carey, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Alanis Morissette, Meghan Trainor, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Hilary Duff, Kate Hudson and many more. A lot of people see ‘What Do You Mean?’ as a sequel of sorts to ‘Where are You Now’, but more importantly as a continuation of the streak of great music from Justin Bieber. Elements of trance supply something new while pop beats thrown in are classic Justin Bieber, just better executed.
‘What Do You Mean’ also has an official video featuring John Leguizamo:
‘Sorry’ is the track that I am most in love with currently. The second single from Purpose packs a punch with a tropical vibe, using the island rhythms to get people up and dancing. It’s fun, catchy and Justin’s lyrics are the right mix of apologetic and playful. I’m not the biggest fan of the dance video for the song and can’t wait to see the official video, but I do love the colourful 90’s vibe in the fashion and make up of the dancers. There is also an acoustic version of the song with Skrillex playing the guitar, as he has produced the track, and you can check that out here.
Justin seems to definitely looking for a chance to redeem himself and you can almost take ‘Sorry’ as an apology for his behaviour in the last couple of years. Purpose seems to be giving him exactly what its name entails and another chance to repair his reputation while gathering newer fans across all ages and not just teenage girls. He seems to have matured in the past one year and is on a path to focusing on producing good music as well as creating a whole bunch of positivity. But in all honesty, if Ellen DeGeneres is friends with him again, I think it’s working.
Justin has also just revealed Purpose‘s album art and track-list via graffiti in various cities around the world on his Twitter.
You can preorder Purpose on iTunes here.
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