“Don’t forget that I’m human/ don’t forget that I’m real.”
He’s the bad boy you love to hate. Well, when Chris Brown isn’t around, anyway. And most of the time Justin Bieber easily earns that reputation. With Purpose, his fourth album, he wants to change your perception of him. When he isn’t trying too hard, it actually works. And then, as in his life, there are occasional missteps.
"What Do You Mean?"
...off of Justin Bieber's latest, Purpose
Things got off to a good start with the first three singles — the bouncy “What Do You Mean?” Selena-inspired “Sorry,” and club-ready cut “Where Are Ü Now.” Bieber’s fresh sound — an infectious mix of electro-dance pop and modern R&B — can be accredited to his army of producers; among them, Rick Rubin and EDM masterminds Diplo and Skrillex. Other album contributors include Big Sean, Halsey, and Ed Sheeran, on the current chart-topper “Love Yourself.”
Throughout the 13-song collection, the Biebs attempts to explain and apologize for his erratic behavior. In the heartfelt “I’ll Show You,” he reminds us, “Don’t forget that I’m human/ don’t forget that I’m real.” It’s much more believable than what he’s selling on “Children,” a plea to help our youth, set to a dancehall beat, and the album’s closing title track, which ends with an interview snippet in which the 21-year-old declares, “We weren’t necessarily put in the best position to make the best decisions.”
If the goal of this album is to convince people that he’s turned over a new leaf, I’m not quite a Belieber. But I am listening, so on that level, Purpose succeeds.
- Record: Purpose
- Artist: Justin Bieber
- Label: Def Jam
- Songs: (1) Mark My Words (2) I’ll Show You (3) What Do You Mean? (4) Sorry (5) Love Yourself (6) Company (7) No Pressure (8) No Sense (9) The Feeling (10) Life Is Worth Living (11) Where Are Ü Now (12) Children (13) Purpose