By Nick Michael
Assoc. News Editor
The past two years have brought serious harm to Justin Bieber’s public image. He was arrested three times in 2014 for charges including assault and driving under the influence. Videos of him using vulgar language and urinating into a mop bucket were released online, drawing heated responses. In fact, anti-Bieber hysteria grew so strong that a 2014 petition aiming to deport him gained over 270,000 supporters.
However, Bieber’s newest album may cause these passionate cynics to reconsider. Purpose, released on November 13, 2015, is Bieber’s honest attempt at redemption. The record rose to number one in the United States in its first week, and its remarkable success may be a sign of a brighter future for Bieber.
Much of the album’s success is derived from its three smash hits. “What Do You Mean?” the lead single of the record, features a bubbly tropical house melody accompanied by Bieber’s vocals. “Sorry,” a Skrillex-produced dance tune, pulses with a strong bass line and a smooth chorus. “Love Yourself,” a soft, R&B piece co-written by Ed Sheeran, contains bold lyrics which reveal a glimpse of Bieber’s personal life. Apart from these commercially successful giants, songs such as “I’ll Show You” and “The Feeling” round out the album with vibrant choruses.
Throughout Purpose, Bieber stays true to his main theme: redemption. In “Life is Worth Living,” he expresses how thankful he is to be alive, and his determination to clear himself. In “Purpose,” Bieber delves into his religious roots, singing about his faith in God and his desire for forgiveness. Both songs are laden with smooth piano chords that help relay Bieber’s message.
The album as a whole is wonderfully produced, but it is not perfect. A few of the songs, such as “Children” and “No Sense,” drag the album down. “Children” sends a confusing message which detracts from the underlying themes of the album, while “No Sense” contains a dull melody.
Despite these slight flaws, Purpose is an impressive album, and represents a major turning point in Bieber’s career. Through this record, he reinvents both himself and his music. He utilizes his great talent and relays a powerful message, resulting in an album that silences his critics and defies his previous reputation.