Justin Bieber has had a storied career of changing musical styles and he’s only 26. His newest album “Changes” helps him tell the newest chapter in his life: his marriage.
The album, produced by Bieber and Scooter Braun and released by label Def Jam, is the fifth studio album from the Canadian pop singer. The album has 16 tracks each of approximately 2-3 minutes and a total length of 48 minutes. The album also features guest appearances from artists such as Quavo, Post Malone, Clever, Lil Dicky, Travis Scott, Kehlani and Summer Walker. The album stylistically draws from R&B, electro swing, rap, trap and pop elements.
The album comes off an extended hiatus from public life. Due to much success in his formative years, Bieber’s young adult life was marred by scandals involving criminal charges and substance abuse of marijuana and alcohol. The album is a dedication to the newfound stability he now has with his wife, model Hailey Baldwin.
The album isn’t bad by any stretch but they’re wholly boring. They’re good easy listening music but if you expect to hum these tunes all day, this album is not it. The tracks on the album don’t really have that simple catchiness that Bieber has built his brand on. That being said, the style is still his own. He’s not ripping people off. In some ways, he’s creating a new direction forward in the trap-soul area, typically monopolized by the likes Bryson Tiller and Drake. His approach to the niche genre is gentler, a perfect representation of his approach to his marriage. This style remains consistent across most of the tracks.
Another setback on the album is that it lacks that intense eroticism that Bieber has cultivated after his early material. Bieber’s transformation into the married man has not done him an incredible favor in the romantic and wild emotion department. This is not necessarily the worst thing in the world though. An artist as popular as Justin Bieber can certainly wear any setbacks and it additionally shows his new-found maturity. He is allowing his more domestic, more dependent life to influence his artistic work in a truly beautiful way.
A lot of the tracks focus on the young wild nature of being a young married couple who work in fields that require long hours apart. The concept is old and storied but more times than not, the actual execution is lackluster and unengaging. Bieber delivers lines about “getting in expeditiously” and other obvious euphemisms with a genuine sincerity, no matter how ridiculous they are. This sincerity often creates a humorous misunderstanding especially when Bieber asks, “who taught you to drive stick.” The tone of Bieber’s voice makes it sound like he’s actually asking her about her driving history and not the intimate moments in the bedroom.
Ultimately, Bieber’s newest album is just another brick in the wall of the monolith of the pop genre, blending with other bricks around it. “Changes” receives a C-rating.