Album Review: Justin Bieber Portrays a More Mature Self on "Purpose"

"Purpose" album cover (Def Jam Records).

Justin Bieber’s new album, Purpose, dropped this morning. Much like the title insinuates, this album seems to have a distinct purpose he is trying to convey to his audience. For the first time, Bieber heavily reflects through his music. It is a side of Bieber that the public has not seen until now. Much like his maturity as a boy to a man, his music seems to be following the same progression. The R&B undertones of the album combined with a club music vibe highlights Bieber’s style. What have changed are the lyrics. Yes, there are certainly the love songs; however, these love songs are deeper and pondering. In addition, Bieber includes songs about maturing as a person and growing past mistakes. If you don’t listen close enough, you’d miss the depth of the lyrics for the fun beats that are Bieber’s signature R&B pop/hip-hop style. 

“Sorry” is an example of a love song that takes the boy-meets-girl lyrics to another level new for Bieber’s fans. “Sorry” is about Bieber missing a girl as more than just a hook up but as a person. In the chorus, he sings, “Is it too late now to say sorry ‘cuz I’m missing more than just your body. Is it too late now to say sorry? Yeah I know that I let you down. Is it too late to say I’m sorry now?” He works through the problems in their relationship and explains what went wrong. Instead of simply being an enjoyable song to dance to, Bieber has added the element of remorse to his music first through a love song such as “Sorry.” It isn’t a song simply about sex or going out; instead, Bieber takes time to analyze a failed relationship that he isn’t ready to give up on. This adds one level of depth to his music that will be new to listeners.    

In addition to songs such as “Sorry,” Bieber takes his new maturity one step further with songs such as “Purpose” that the album title is taken from. This song includes less club backbeat and instead incorporates beautiful piano. The mellowness of the song is a contrast to what he’s sung previously. The chorus states, “You’ve given me purpose.” The entire lyrical body explains his thanks to someone for inspiring and motivating him to be a better person. He continues, “I put my heart into your hands. Here's my soul to keep. I let you in with all that I can. You're not hard to reach and you bless me with the best gift that I've ever known.” The song also includes a recording of Bieber explaining that he cannot change his mistakes from the past but can only move forward and thank those who have helped him grow. It is arguably the most sentimental and sincere that Bieber has ever been in a song. “Purpose” is an enormous step for Bieber in his maturity as an artist, and it is a great decision to name the album after that song.

Purpose certainly has a purpose when it comes to the growth of Bieber’s career. He has had his ups and downs particularly when it comes to staying out of the tabloids and out of trouble. However, this album seems to be the response to that rougher part of his life. Bieber presents a great argument for growing past the mistakes and plunging into a better future. Though it’ll only be a matter of time to see if the words match the actions, Purpose is a great step in the direction of the new Justin Bieber: boy to man.

Justin Bieber's new album is in stores now. Bieber is also hitting the road in 2016 on his "Purpose World Tour." Tickets can be purchased over at Ticketmaster.