Justin Bieber


“If you go to Taco Bell, that doesn’t make you a taco,” Justin Bieber told Rolling Stone in a recent interview. But if you listen to a Justin Bieber album, does that make you a Belieber?

The Canadian pop star’s fourth record leans heavily on an overbearingly dull redemption narrative following a (let’s face it, more interesting) period of erratic behaviour. You couldn’t write a more clichéd child-star trajectory, and yet Purpose is his most cohesive and best-sounding album. With a couple of exceptions, it mostly rejects predictable dance pop for softer sounds, mid-tempo rhythms and spaciously mixed productions suited to the aural lobe-nibbling of Bieber’s newfound breathiness.

Standouts include the dancehall-driven Sorry, wistful mid-tempo jam Company, the finger snaps and falsetto of No Sense and the early-aughts-sounding R&B ballad No Pressure. And despite Bieber’s trembling timbre, there is almost no sex. The acerbic kiss-off Love Yourself feels like an honest stab at subverting the standard breakup ballad, but elsewhere his lyrics are overly concerned with righteousness and keeping things PG-rated.

Top track: Sorry

Justin Bieber plays the Air Canada Centre May 18 and 19.

Leave your opinion for the editor...We read everything!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *