I am fully aware that half of you have already started judging me and you’ve only read the title so I think I’m setting myself up for failure. HOWEVER, the other half of you may have read the title and felt intrigued by what I could possibly be wanting to say about this rather successful young man. Could she be on to something here? To those of you who think that I have made a new scientific discovery and that ‘Bieber Fever’ is some rare disease then perhaps you’ll find the NHS website of more interest. Or BBC Bitesize.
Regardless of which category you fall into, I feel it is my duty to raise your awareness to the contagious and fast-spreading love and appreciation for Justin Bieber. Until recently, he was obsessed over by prepubescent, young girls which didn’t exactly make him appealing to anyone over the age of 16 (or if he was, listening to his songs was a most secretive operation). Today, one can hear his cutie pie voice being blasted out of cars and stereos belonging to 30-year-old men with fully fledged facial hair and large pectoral muscles. This is all thanks to the release of his latest album, ‘Purpose’. Although it failed to reach Number 1 in the UK (congrats Adele), Biebs is the the first artist to take up three of the top five spots in the UK singles chart in 34 years. ‘Love Yourself’ has been at Number 1 for the past 3 weeks and both ‘Sorry’ and ‘What Do You Mean’ have already had their time in the top spot. As expected, social media went absolutely ‘use-more-emojis-and-punctuation-than-necessary’ mental and it prompted some fairly amusing reactions:
So what is it about 2015 Bieber that has suddenly changed everyone’s opinion about him? The new lid? His sexy mofo dance moves that make Usher look like a sad tribute act? His new and improved badass sense of style complimented by ever-increasing amounts of ink over his chiseled abs? Or could it be (feel free to reject this idea because I know it’s crazy) that his new album genuinely contains some pretty bangin’ tunes? The overall sound combines smooth, sophisticated R&B with EDM and Bieber’s voice, although matured, still retains that American sweetheart sound (probably auto tuned) that soothes the soul at Christmas time. The three most successful singles off of the album, ‘What Do You Mean’, ‘Sorry’ and ‘Where R Ü Now’, are all classed as BANGERS (translation provided) although I feel due credit must be given to Diplo, Skrillex and Jack Ü who featured greatly in the production of these dance tracks. They definitely encourage you to cut some head-turning shapes on the d-floor. Take inspiration from the incredibly sassy dancers in the ‘Sorry’ music video:
Although the album features some get-up-and-jive songs, the majority of the other tracks are more low-key but still surprisingly groovy. Synths and electronic chipmunk vocals are apparently a major key to success as they are the driving force behind this album’s modern sound and create an infinite sense of space. I’m not sure that makes sense but one does feel very spacious (not fat) when listening to ‘I’ll Show You’. A particular favourite is “No Pressure” featuring Big Sean – the syncopated, sticky beat sounds like it’s straight out of the noughties with Craigy and JT (still with frosted tips) grinding in da club. Not together obviously…come on guys if Biebs can redeem his maturity then so can we. He also leaves room on the album for soul-baring ballads such as ‘Purpose’, ‘Life Is Worth Living’ and ‘Love Yourself’. ‘Love Yourself’ was written with the help of guitar maester Ed Sheeran which shines through particularly in the chorus where Biebs digs down for his lower husky tones. It is also the proud owner of the biggest lyrical insult in the the history of lyrical insults; ‘My mama don’t like you and she likes everyone.’ Owch. That has gotta hurt. Trying to be besties with your best friend’s mum is a fragile procedure so that is just a real slap in the face.
I wouldn’t go as far as saying that the album is flawless by a long way, there are some songs which I could have definitely done without hearing and generally the lyrics aren’t awe-inspiring. Of course, a lot of the songs are about Bieber growing up, trying to get us to forgive him for all of his mindless behaviour of the past and ultimately, finding his ‘Purpose’ in life. The lyrics don’t strike me as very clever or hard to interpret and don’t leave much to the imagination but perhaps that’s what Biebs was going for. I don’t think many of his younger fans possess much imagination or intelligence so I should cut him some slack. ‘Children’ sounds like Bieber’s attempt at a Michael Jackson style ‘raise awareness’ song. The opening line is, ‘What about the children?’. Considering you were a child less than 3 years ago Biebs babes I don’t think you’ve really got enough experience under your belt to be wailing about these sorts of things. Maybe keep that in the ideas closet until Christmas 2050. Also not massively keen on ‘Life Is Worth Living’ where the stabbing piano chords become repetitive and mundane after a minute. Last criticism (Justin if you’re reading this – I am a huge fan of both your physique and your music so these pointers are purely something for you to take on the chin for next time); GET ARIANA GRANDE OFF OF THE ALBUM. SHE IS NOT WORTHY.
Woah, hold up. Incoming text from Emma; “Dude biebs rocks!”. I’m not even kidding guys that actually happened. I promise it wasn’t something I just made up to give this post credibility. Hopefully, both myself and Emma have ignited some bravery in you to step in to the unknown and listen to the funky new stuff of ‘he who must not be named’. He has become more of an artist and less of a pop star and like when a baby takes its first steps, we should applaud him. Don’t be afraid guys, take this opportunity to embrace mainstream life and the cheese that comes with it. I fancy Justin Bieber. Swag.