Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber Goes Through Changes

Ontario-born pop icon Justin Bieber graced the world on Valentine’s Day with his newest record, Changes. The Canadian singer has come a long way from the days of sideswept hair and My World 2.0. Back in the days of songs like ‘Baby’ and ‘One Time,’ I was a simple middle schooler fiending on the likes of Green Day and Blink-182; so Bieber wasn’t my scene. To me, he was another teen icon pumping out generically catchy pop songs to a mainstream audience. That Justin is no longer the Justin we see on Changes. “People change. Circumstances change. But God always remains the same,” says the now 25-year-old singer in the closing measures of the new album’s title track.

Changes is the first new release from Bieber since he announced his musical hiatus last spring. In March 2019, Bieber announced through his Instagram account that he would be taking a break from music to fix “deep rooted issues” he has been dealing with, as well as a desire to work on his marriage with Hailey Baldwin. Changes is an explosion of emotional honesty and genuinity in which Bieber closes a proverbial door on the person he once was; the “rebellious playboy and pop maximalist,” according to Apple Music.

Stylistically, Changes also marks a departure from the pop stylings that put Bieber on the map, in favor of a more modern pop sound fit for the world of 2020. Bieber delivers a sublime hook against a blues-inspired guitar lick on ‘E.T.A.’ The opening track, ‘All Around Me,’ reverberates with dreamy guitars and synths under Bieber singing about how he never thought he could be “loyal to someone other than myself.”

Tracks such as ‘Forever’ and ‘Yummy’ are guaranteed to be fan favorites from this album. Artists Post Malone and Clever are featured on ‘Forever,’ which brings out an electronic-driven pop sound that Bieber has seemed to have mastered. Post Malone provides a harmonized, auto-tune laden verse, followed by Clever belting tremolo-tinted notes. Other features from Changes include the likes of Quavo (on ‘Intentions’), Lil Dicky (on ‘Running Over’), Travis Scott (on ‘Second Emotion’), and Kehlani (on ‘Get Me’).

‘Yummy’ was the first single off Changes and it’s a quintessentially catchy Bieber tune. One might liken the lyricism to 2010’s ‘Baby,’ simply due to the fact that the chorus is almost completely comprised of the word “yummy.” Ultimately, ‘Yummy’ is an R&B-fueled nod to where he came from, and the fans who stuck with him over the years.

Changes draws an emotional conclusion in the final tracks. The piano-driven ‘Confirmation’ is a ballad in which Bieber acknowledges the importance of taking a step back and living in the moment instead of perpetually looking forward to a monolithic concept of what comes next. ‘That’s What Love Is’ is a cheeky, acoustic-guitar driven love song that will surely be on the playlists of wedding receptions around the world for years to come.

The final track, ‘At Least For Now’ is a two-and-a-half minute ballad where Bieber declares an intention to keep his head above water: “Trying to avoid disappointment, at least for now.” ‘At Least For Now’ not only closes the book on Changes, but will leave Bieber fans eagerly waiting for what comes next.

IMAGE TAKEN from Z103.5