Justin Bieber is back, happily married and dangerously in love. Sharing a life with his wife, being in love, having sex — Bieber is enjoying it all. So much so that his newest album, “Changes,” is dedicated to it and essentially comes off as a love ballad to his wife, Hailey Bieber. “Changes” celebrates the stability he has been searching and longing for.
The Prince of Pop returns, after a quiet and unsettling four years, with the newest album since “Purpose.” The new album, “Changes,” resembles a honeymoon phase, but in R&Bieber form. It is definitely sweet and tender, but also a bit simplistic and boring. None of the songs on the album are bad, but they’re not necessarily catchy or vibey either — something Bieber was previously known for.
On songs like “Forever,” he questions if his lover would “be here with me forever?” And in “Second Emotion,” featuring Travis Scott, he begs for reciprocated feelings of adoration. However, neither of those songs scream “Sorry” or “What Do You Mean?” which are hits from his 2015 album,“Purpose.”
“Changes” was anticlimactic even before its release. His first single off the album, “Yummy,” is a foolish R&B wannabe that was intended for the shortened attention span of TikTok users. The song itself is repetitive, boring and childish with a chorus such as “yummy yum,” which is not good considering the single is supposed to introduce the genre of the album and what fans are to expect. Ultimately, the album is missing special elements of malleability, which is what Bieber possessed as an artist.
The album was labeled as “R&Bieber,” but his new music does not live up to the true R&B trap-soul, nor does it live up to the expectations of his 2013 mixtape “Journals,” which is claimed to be the epitome of true “R&Bieber.” In “Journals,” Bieber gave us a preface to his newly found adulthood; it was an album that detoured from its usual pop chart topping tunes to dominating rap-trends, messy implementation, rap artists collaborations and lively club dance beats. As pop music becomes more blurred and indefinite, in “Changes” there was little-to-no transformation. And although Bieber has had a good streak with making each of his albums different from the one preceding, and being in tune with the continuously changing pop trends, “Changes” is an unimaginative cliche that we’ve all heard before. In a total of fifty-one minutes, Justin Bieber is entirely coasting through the album.
Justin Bieber has, without a doubt, an amazing voice and talent. He is also a good lyricist, showcased in the song “That’s What Love Is,” including lyrics such as “never understood what it meant [to] submit to love,” and “don’t nobody else deserves my time.” In these lyrics, Bieber admires the significance of a relationship, what it means to love and be in love, and, most importantly, the lessons he has learned while being in love. In “Love Yourself,” Bieber openly displayed vulnerability to explain his hurt and betrayal and conveyed a paradoxical love ballad that establishes the idea of him moving on. In “That’s What Love Is,” Bieber has definitely moved on, but has also vividly illustrated this vulnerability by showing his love and adoration for his newly-wedded wife. However, it is not enough to capture the audience and make them want to stay and listen to the album all the way through.
As the album comes to a close, it is safe to say the album was made for hopeless romantics and for sex appeal. But his lyrics are so vague and bland, it’s almost as if they were written to only be used as social media captions. It’s nice to know Bieber is doing well and his life is great and loving, but, unfortunately, his music is not. Although demonstrating those emotions through music is therapeutic, he could have done a better job.