Justin Bieber releases sultry and controversial “Justice”

A far cry from “Believe,” Bieber contemplates deeper themes on his 12th album.

Emily Coffey, Deputy Arts and Entertainment Editor

Released March 19, “Justice” soars above previous works, adding in rock elements and self-contemplation all while returning to his classic ballad writing. The album features some especially lucrative features like Daniel Caesar, Benny Blanco, Dominik Fike and Chance the Rapper. The best songs, arguably, come from these features. 

PROGRESSION AND REGRESSION 

Exceptionally good is “Peaches,” which features Caesar and Giveon. Moving at a perfect clip and being cleverly produced, its gorgeous chord progressions and swinging beat combine to form a golden hit. Merging slightly into rhythm and blues territory, the song combines effortlessly with the rest of the album, while still remaining distinguishable.

Though his melodies remain as simple and broadly loveable as in previous albums, Bieber shows a better command of rhythm and layering. “Ghost” is a great example of just this. Complex and followable, each piece of the song comes together, though some audiences may find the synths toward the chorus overused.  

Though musically productive, “Justice” attempts to draw parallels between Martin Luther King Jr. ‘s speeches and Bieber’s personal love life, which lacks tact and is quite frankly, bad timing. “MLK interlude” is a great artistic choice, in terms of giving the listener a break from his music and communicating a deeper meaning. However, in the next song, Beiber references exact words from the speech about social justice and uses them to describe his love for his wife.

LAX LYRICS 

Produced by Benny Blanco and Finneas, “Lonely” ends the album. The simplicity of the background synth allows the sorrow to really shine. 

“Everybody saw me sick/ and it felt like no one gave a s—,” Bieber sings in the second verse. 

He goes on to explore the grief and lack of support young stars often face. Bieber has had his fair share of scandals, and especially in his younger years. It would make sense then, that he faces so much anxiety in his current relationship about his past. He expresses this on “Deserve You.” 

“Night after night you fall asleep on me/ I’m prayin I don’t go back to who I was,” Bieber sings in the pre-chorus. 

It is hard to condemn his fanboy love stories, especially when he expresses them with such sweet simplicity. However, his lyrics do leave a little to be desired when it comes to complexity. His music is not intelligent, but it is at the very least, honest. 

WHAT IS TO COME

Bieber will begin his tour on June 2, after a re-route and delay. Although his tracks failed to shoot up the Top 10 on the Billboard 200, his name alone guarantees a radio-friendly album. In the past, the key to his greatest hits have been features, which this album is heavily laced with. Overall, this album is certainly a progression, from a teen star.

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