Justin Bieber drops surprise Easter EP

The singer bears his soul and shares the gospel message in “Freedom.”

Lauren McBride, Arts and Entertainment Editor

While people relaxed in their homes celebrating a restful Easter afternoon, Justin Bieber surprised everyone with the release of a gospel EP titled “Freedom.” With his newest album “Justice” having been released not even three full weeks prior, “Freedom.” comes as a bigger shock to fans, and Bieber’s Christian fanbase may appreciate the religious focus of the EP.

IMPRESSIVE INVOLVEMENT

The EP features many other recognizable Christian artists, including Tori Kelly and Chandler Moore. It is an impressive feat, displaying the willingness of other artists to aid in Bieber’s effort to spread the gospel.

Sonically, the EP is pleasing to the ears, with an enjoyable combination of hip-hop, rhythm and blues and gospel notes. The energy is low in comparison with Bieber’s other music, but it goes to show how his music has matured as the artist finds his niche. The style of music in “Freedom.” is similar to that shown in “Justice,” but with an entirely different message.

SIGNIFICANT SONGS

Freedom (with BEAM)” sets the tone for the EP as a very different collection of songs than what many Bieber fans are used to. “All She Wrote” follows, featuring the voices of Brandon Love and Chandler Moore. The track is a cry for God to heal the singer’s hardened heart.

“I’d rather pray to God, than pray for wishes / I’m supernatural, not superstitious, there’s a difference / Like relationship versus religion, that’s a prison,” Love sings in the third verse.

We’re In This Together” is a particularly personal track for both Bieber and the listener. He begins by telling his own story through lyrics, talking about how he grew up, became famous at a young age and went down a bad path. He ends the song by declaring that “we’re all in this together,” and speaking a prayer over his listeners. He prays for their well-being, their families, their finances and more.

Where You Go I Follow” sounds more basic and uninteresting sonically, but is a song lifting up God and his character, a nice reminder for listeners to take a break from themselves every once in a while to focus on the Lord’s goodness. “Where Do I Fit In” features popular artist Tori Kelly. It is a slow, peaceful ballad reminding listeners that God is always there. It ends with a short, powerful sermon from Judah Smith, repeating the phrase, “It’ll be alright.”

“Your past is forgiven, it’ll be alright / Your future is secure, it’ll be alright / I forgive you, it’ll be alright,” Smith says.

RAW RELIGION

Though controversy comes anytime a popular artist decides to bring religion into their work, listeners can find enjoyment in the peaceful, uplifting tracks Bieber has presented in “Freedom.” The lyrics are incredibly real and raw, telling the singer’s own story as well as God’s. He asks for God’s grace to be shown to his listeners and comments on the darkness contained in society that goes unnoticed.

“What have we done with society? / When everybody’s getting canceled / And can’t there be room for maturity? / ‘Cause writing ’em off is not the answer / We can’t write people off / God never writes us off,” he sings in the final track, “Afraid To Say.”

A work of high production quality, boldness and transparency, “Freedom.” is worth the listen for people of all backgrounds and beliefs.

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