Justice, Justin Bieber’s sixth studio album, reveals a whole new man to the one the public has known for years.
From the squeaky-clean boy who sang Baby, or the sultry teenage trainwreck who rapped with Chris Brown about ‘putting girls down’ (not quite what you’d think), Bieber has shapeshifted through his musical career.
This time the ‘Prince of Pop’ defies labels by combining 80s-style jam Die For You and R&B soul in Peaches with pop-heavy Love You Different in an embrace of all musical genres.
The musically diverse album has already reached number one in more than 115 countries across the world, with the star occupying the entire top 15 spots on Apple Music’s US Chart.
And, in his most personal record yet, Bieber sings about growing up in the spotlight, owning the mistakes of the past and finding true love.
In Unstable, Bieber sings about anxiety and self-loathing, Lonely relives his battles with fame, media attention and Lyme disease and single Holy is a tribute to how love and faith have healed him.
And, as Bieber recently told Billboard, Justice is an ode to owning your mistakes: “I just want to be somebody who can say, ‘Look, I did some things that I’m not too proud of, but I took a look in the mirror and decided to make some changes, and you can too’.”
Whilst most of the songs take inspiration from forever muse, wife Hailey Bieber née Baldwin, it’s clear the Canadian singer has moved on from the honeymoon crooning emphatic of his 2020 record Changes.
Fuelled by a desire to connect people and provide them with a creative outlet in a time of uncertainty and struggle, Bieber’s sixth album is his most inspired yet.
Beginning with the words: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” from Martin Luther King Jr., it seems as though the popstar is getting political.
But accompanying the album’s announcement on Instagram, Bieber explained: “In a time when there’s so much wrong with this broken planet we all crave healing and justice for humanity.
“In creating this album my goal is to make music that will provide comfort, to make songs that people can relate to and connect to so they feel less alone.
“This is me doing a small part. My part. I want to continue this conversation of what justice looks like so we can continue to heal.”
Whilst the singer has received criticism for intersecting the love album with snippets of Martin Luther King Jr., he has also received praise from The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for his contributions to their causes.
And, having been given permission by Bernice King, daughter of the late civil rights activist, Bieber explained his sampling of quotes was an effort to “amplify Martin Luther King Jr’s voice to this generation”.
As the MLK Interlude states: “One day some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause.”
Justice acts as Bieber’s redemption album, and, after years of tabloid turmoil, the singer has found his happy place, and he’s finally taking a stand.
Better late than never.
Featured image credit: Lou Stejskal on Flickr via CC BY 2.0 license