Justin Bieber released his latest album Purpose on Nov. 13, creating huge waves in the music industry. Bieber sold over 649,000 copies in the first week of the release, breaking his previous records and making this his sixth consecutive number one album on the Billboard 200 chart. Despite his constant presence in the news for delinquent actions, it is impossible to ignore the immense talent and growth he has displayed as an artist. Purpose represents the maturity in Bieber’s music, both in substance and vocals. Bieber was signed to his first record contract when he was only 14 years old. At the time, Bieber had a much higher voice, but the progression of his albums highlights the changes his voice has undergone—which in and of itself is an incredibly unique aspect of his music, as many artists do not have this experience.
In terms of substance, this is probably one of the most distinguished records that Bieber has released. As a whole, it is more serious than any of his other works—all of which were more playful and pop-oriented.
In his lyrics, Bieber expresses deeper and more meaningful themes which were never present in his earlier, teenage albums. In the second track “I’ll Show You,” he comments on the superficial way that people view him. In the song, Bieber talks about how they don’t really know him for who he truly is. As far as lyrics go, this song further proves how far Bieber has come since his “One Less Lonely Girl” days.
Bieber’s previous albums were full of catchy, fun music and were prone to being overplayed on the radio. His music was made to satisfy his 15-year-old “Belieber,” not to express himself as an artist and a person. This is something that many mainstream singers do today and, while it sells records, it does not establish them as respected singers.
Purpose does not emit this same feeling, however. Now, Bieber sings for himself, not for his audience. While a few of his songs such as “Sorry,” “What Do You Mean?” and “Love Yourself” have definitely become huge hits, they are not shallow and repetitive like some of his other songs.
The song “Love Yourself” has quickly become a favorite for many people. The title of the song is misleading. At first glance, it seems as if the song is about an insecure girl—an overused and drawn out trope in pop culture. It’s actually quite the opposite, though. Written in collaboration with Ed Sheeran, the track is about loving a self-centered girl and why it’s necessary to move on. The main chorus states, “If you like the way you look that much/Oh baby you should go and love yourself.” The song is lyrically rich and seems to express some of Bieber’s life experiences—something that captures the essence of his entire album.
The release of Purpose has shown his immense growth in character and as a musician. This album is the equivalent of Kanye West’s Yeezus—incredibly different from anything ever released by the respective artists.
Purpose is a significant album in Bieber’s career, symbolizing his transition from a teen into an adult. It has even shocked many non-listeners into becoming fans of his music. It shows the world his true potential as an artist and sets the bar high for his future albums, which will likely surpass expectations once again.