Justin Bieber, You Won Us Over

In case you missed it, Justin Bieber released a new album last week, "Purpose." Quinn Brandt and I both tweeted about the album release at the same time, and decided to team up to write this post together to give you our thoughts.

photo from fuse

photo from fuse


QUINN BRANDT:

Since landing on the music scene in 2009 as a 15 year old with his EP debut release of My World, Justin Beiber has created two distinct groups of music listeners. Lovers and haters. If you were not a middle school or high school girl during Beiber’s rise to fame, chances are you were a hater. There’s plenty to not like about Beiber. He had that innocent skater look to him that gave you the impression he was just doing this to land a few singles and maybe a VANS endorsement.

It only got harder to swallow the realization that a kid younger than myself was raking in millions off of songs I couldn’t stand. It didn’t help that during this time I was a junior in high school making $8.25/hr as a lifeguard, trying to make sure 25 kids weren’t increasing their parents’ insurance premiums by doing backflips into a 5 foot deep pool the size of a small patio.

I’ll admit it. I was a hater and not a “belieber”.

After My World placed all 7 of its singles on the Billboard Hot 100, he quickly became quite similar to that annoying little cousin you have from Boston that somehow found ways to keep getting even more annoying. With every hit single, there seemed to be a run in with the law to pair with each one. With vandalism in Brazil and a DUI in South Florida you may have started to wonder when he finds time to actually make music. (He’s primarily a musician right?) Beiber even found time to throw eggs at his neighbor’s house and urinate in a restaurant mop bucket.

Apparently all of this provided enough merit for 270,000 Americans to sign a petition to the White House to get the Canadian heart-throb deported. Unfortunately for them the Obama Administration declined the request. (Pro tip: wait till the individual’s trial in court is over, than send in your petition.) For a young man who had his own mother as a manager, one would hope there was a little disciplining going on backstage.

Owe it to a growth spurt of maturity or a new found reason for faith, but Justin Beiber is making changes.

In and out of the recording studio.

From making apologies to spending more time with close friends and family, he’s slowly finding there is value in doing a few things really well.

Beiber has acknowledged his mistakes and is looking for a more balanced approach to being a superstar musician and a responsible adult.  He’s seeing there might be a little more to this life than a seven figure bank account and paying his way out of trouble.

None of these changes are more prevalent than on his fourth studio album Purpose.

I’ll admit it. I have become a “Belieber.” I’m excited to see what Beiber is pursuing musically and personally. He just might be growing up when it matters most.

Now call up your annoying little cousin from Boston and tell him you’re proud of him. Because he’s probably grown up a bit too.


RACHEL DAWSON:

Now, I've never been the "fangirl" type. I've never had huge crushes on any singers, never bought into the hype around any of it, especially back when J. Biebs first came onto the scene. Sure, he had some catchy songs, but I wrote him off as a young guy trying to be a heartthrob with pop songs clearly aimed at all the tween girls

This Justin Bieber? The one who put out an album called "Purpose" with cover art of his hands in a prayer position? Totally not at all what I expected. This album is solid. It's catchy, yes, and I've heard the singles on the radio endlessly. There are some R&B and hip hop influences (Big Sean and Travi$ Scott are featured on two tracks), some electronic beats that just make you want to dance (like the uber popular "Where Are Ü Now" with Skrillex and Diplo), but it's more than that, too. 

The content of the songs on this album is what impresses me most. This Bieber feels like someone who has matured in the spotlight. It's clear he's made mistakes (he talks about how he isn't perfect in more than one song) but also that he has learned from them.

He seems humble, confident, sure in who he is and what his music is about. This album feels genuine and like he's really coming into his own in the music world. I feel like he finally has things to say and is using this album to say them.

The slower tracks, like "Children" and "Life is Worth Living" weren't at all what I expected from him. "Love Yourself" is humorous with a subtle snark like in the line "if you like the way you look so much, then you should go an love yourself." Amazing.

"Purpose" and "All In It" seem particularly worshipful to me too. I don't think there's a song on this album I don't like...

You’ve given me the best gift that I’ve ever known— you give me purpose, every day. You give me purpose, in every way.
— "Purpose" by Justin Bieber

Who knew Bieber had this in him? Heartfelt, diverse, talking about life lessons and faith and God instead of just singing songs middle school girls will love... it's good. I'm a fan. I'm a Justin Bieber fan. A true Belieber. I never thought I would say that.


Have you listened to the new Bieber album? What do you think of it?