After releasing his fifth album, Changes last year, Justin Bieber is already applying further pressure with his sixth album, Justice. Released Friday (Mar. 19) Justice picks up where Changes left us but moves with further deliberate energy. Ever since returning under the spotlight of both the media and music, the now 27-year-old has been moving with utter intentionality. The singer actually shared that this eighth No. 1 album somewhat serves as a deeper sequel to his 2015 album, Purpose.
Last year’s Changes seemed to fit perfectly as the singer underwent a form of metamorphosis. He married his wife, Hailey, grew closer to God, acknowledged his demons and sought out help, and created a documentary. In its essence, Justice feels much like that but even more motivating and inspirational. The album holds 16 songs and holds an impressive amount of features. Artists such as Khalid (“As I Am”), GIVĒON & Daniel Caesar (“Peaches”), Chance the Rapper (“Holy”), and more lend their artistic gifts to Justin’s vision.
While Changes was consumed mainly with R&B-influenced records, Justice finds Bieber taking the path of Pop. Lead singles such as the melancholic ballad, “Lonely,” with Benny Blanco, the inspirational “Hold On,” and the glossy, melodic “Anyone,” fully showcase JB’s pop roots.
Furthering the Changes‘ energy, Justice’s contain even more… deliberate energy. Whether motivating, uplifting, or even just basking in the magnificence of love, each record serves a purpose. Along with this, there several quick references to spirituality, God, and religion as well as social injustice displaced throughout the entire project.
Justice’s slow-burning opener, “2 Much,” immediately sets the tone for the project. While unnecessary, JB samples the late Martin Luther King (which he recently addressed). He sings about the joy his wife continuously brings him. Because of this joy, he doesn’t wanna miss any moment of being with her.
On the suave, watt & Louis Bell-produced, “Deserve You,” Bieber sings about feeling unworthy to receive his wife’s life. Throughout the stand-out track, he reflects on his past decisions, he prays that he doesn’t revert to his old self. His compelling vocals along with this spacey, electronic production paint this vivid image of true compassion and love. “As I Am” & “Unstable” both further the themes of unworthiness. “As I Am” finds Bieber pleading with his wife to take him as he is. Baffled by her unconditional love, he thinks about how she continues to embrace the good, bad, & ugly parts of himself. Promising that he will never leave, he begs heavily for her love. Khalid’s haunting vocals assist in delivering the relatable message and elevates the record to even higher dimensions.
“Unstable” continues to highlight this notion of unconditional love. Teaming with The Kid LAROl, the two look back on their relationships and the way their lovers have both nurtured and cared for them even when they were unable to love themselves.
If there is one consistent characteristic within JB’s music, it is its compelling nature. On the acoustic “Off My Face,” a heartfelt Justin sweetly bellows about being insanely in love with his wife. Having publicly acknowledged his sobriety and life changes Bieber sings about Hailey as if she’s a drug. Enticed by her glory, he simply cannot get enough of her. Her love is his addiction and he no plans on seeking help. The song is truly one of the sincerest moments on the album and also highlights Justin’s remarkable vocal talent.
As listeners continue through the project, they are greeted by a set of synth-pop tracks. Beginning with the pop-rock appealing, “Die For You,” featuring Dominic Fike, Bieber dramatically and intensely sings about giving his life for his woman. This ’80s feeling massive pop appeal is followed with the monumental “Hold On.” It makes you feel like the coolest rockstar while the lyrics are very encouraging, relatable, and uplifting. “Somebody” maintains the same energy as Justin sings about everyone in this world needing someone. Whether a friend, lover, etc. everyone needs love and support.
Now, while the majority of this album’s core is pop with a capital P, Bieber does manage to sprinkle R&B tones and flavor throughout the album. Whether through his vocal delivery or ad-libs, there are still shades of R&Bieber inside of Justice. One of the album’s most shining R&B moments arrives on the sensational “Peaches” record. Groovy, warm, and swirling, Justin pulls R&Bieber from the shadows and allows him to reign freely with a couple of friends! Recruiting both GIVĒON and Daniel Caesar, the three usher in a serene vibe that leaves you wanting so much more.
The groove that rests within this record is utterly perfect. It suits Justin so well and both GIVĒON & Daniel Caesar (who has been relatively quiet since his controversial statements), add the icing on top of the cake.
Justice continues to mesh sounds as Bieber briefly taps in with the Afrobeats king Burna Boy (“Loved By You”) and the dancehall artist, Beam (“Love You Different”) delivering soothing and refreshing melodies that should be heard with several mimosas in hand.
Since reigniting his love for music, the young artist has shown no signs of slowing down. Since releasing Justice, Bieber has already released the album’s “Triple Chucks Deluxe” edition. With the deluxe comes even more music and huge features from Lil Uzi Vert, Quavo, Tori Kelly, Da Baby, and more. And, if that we not enough for you, Bieber has ALSO released a brand new, Gospel-inspired EP entitled, Freedom. Released on Easter (Apr. 4), the project holds six songs and features talents such as Tori Kelly, Beam, Pink Sweat$, and more.
Overall, Justice is solid. The album reminds listeners that Justin Bieber the mega Popstar is still very much alive and well. The project also reminds everyone that he can still generate impactful timeless, chart-topping records. Justin continues to elevate with each project. His impressive range continues to remove him from the restrictions of any box that critics try to place him inside. While Changes saw him re-finding himself, Justice shows Justin having fun with music once again.
Nonetheless, he continues to create moving inspirational music that hits the core of all who listen and engage with it. While every song may not specifically be a favorite, there is a song on here for just about any/everyone who lends their ears. Justice receives a 7/10.
Top Tracks from “Justice”:
- Deserve You
- Hold On
- Love You Different
- Loved By You
Honorable Mentions: Off My Face, Holy, As I Am, Anyone, & 2 Much