Album Review: ‘Changes’ by Justin Bieber.

Justin Bieber released his fifth studio album, “Changes” at Midnight on Valentine’s Day. This release comes after a near-five year hiatus, with his last album release being “Purpose” in 2015.

I don’t want to jinx anything, but as a Belieber myself, I’m going to say it: THIS is the comeback Justin Bieber fans have been waiting for.

Many fans, especially those in the beginning (even before his debut album, “My World” dropped in 2010), have grown up with Bieber, and many were fans of his when he was just making videos on YouTube.

Last month, we all heard the first taste of the new album when Bieber released “Yummy”, a slower jam that I was excited for. I love the song, I love that it’s lighthearted, and I absolutely loved all of the marketing and the music video for it.

Fifty-fifty, love the way you split it // Hunnid racks, help me spend it, babe // Light a match, get litty, babe // That jet set, watch the sunset kinda, yeah, yeah // Rollin’ eyes back in my head, make my toes curl, yeah, yeah – Justin Bieber, Yummy

I heard mixed reviews about “Yummy”, mostly on its subject matter — people “couldn’t believe” he wrote a song about that? Or, the song was cringey.

A scene from the “Yummy” music video by Justin Bieber.

When did we become so conservative? Most songs on the radio are about sex, and Bieber is now a married man. Plus, “Yummy” could mean just about anything.

Shortly after “Yummy” was released, Bieber debuted a docuseries, “Seasons” on YouTube Red. So far, six episodes have been released and it shows a lot of Bieber in the studio crafting the new album.

There were glimpses of some of the songs, and lots of footage about how much of a perfectionist Bieber is. Personally, I cannot imagine the amount of pressure someone like him would feel after a long break, given the crazy amount of fans he’s had over the years.

The docuseries has also covered his relationship with Hailey, his songwriting and recording process, and his battles with drugs and his mental and physical health. Watching these episodes and then hearing the album… it really creates a cohesive picture of someone who grew up in the spotlight, but likely none of us knew much of what was happening in his life.

The album has a whopping 17 tracks, including “Yummy”, “Intentions” and “Get Me” — all were released before “Changes” dropped.

I have been listening to the album since the minute it arrived in my inbox Thursday night, and it’s hard-telling what songs are my favorite. It’s going to be one of those albums that is constantly changing (no pun intended) for me.

A scene from the “Intentions” music video by Justin Bieber.

Currently, my favorites are “Intentions”, “Come Around Me” and “Forever”. I loved “Intentions” the first time I heard it and the music video really drove that home (if you haven’t watched it yet, do so NOW).

“Intentions” is slow, but it has this melancholy, sweet vibe. It’s inspirational, but also fun, and it makes me think of summer, neon and anything in slow motion. This one is a real bop if you’re into cranking the volume in your car.

Already passed, you don’t need no approval // Good everywhere, don’t worry ’bout no refusal // Second to none, you got the upper hand now // Don’t need a sponsor, no, you’re the brand now — Justin Bieber, Intentions

“Come Around Me” is just a good jam — one of those you can really dance in your kitchen to. Everyone bashing the vibe of “Yummy” won’t like this one either, because it’s about sex, as are a majority of the songs on this album. Call Adam and Eve and strike your beef with them, K?

“Forever” almost has a similar undertone as “Intentions” — this whole album is incredibly cohesive, which is impressive — but this one makes me think of a road trip out west. Desert vibes and old Vegas, which I LOVE.

It doesn’t hurt that Post Malone and Clever are featured on the song, either. It’s slow, but still has a catchy beat that you can dance to. Lyrically, this one is sweet and really dives into his marriage and the possibility that he was just going to continue being single.

You still intimidate me, keep me up on my toes now // Better man, what you made me //Made me aware of what I was missin’ // Been missin’ the way you give me envision, babe // Never thought I’d settle down, reckon I lied to myself // I was busy focusin’ on bein’ by myself // Set my feelings to the side, they all got dusty on a shelf // You wiped them down when I had nothin’ left — Justin Bieber, Forever

The album’s title track is the one that really seems to fit what’s been on the docuseries. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking, and I think a lot of people will be able to relate to its lyrics, which talk about his mental health battles, including the ups and downs of anxiety and depression.

All in all, this album is a slam dunk. Vocally, Bieber sounds the best we’ve heard, and lyrically, this is an elevated version of the Bieber we’ve heard before. I absolutely loved “Purpose”, but I felt many of the lyrics were difficult to relate to.

After seeing episode five of the docuseries, where Bieber explains his extensive drug use, I feel lucky to have even heard this album. As Scooter Braun said in “Never Say Never”, no one in the world has grown up like Justin Bieber, and the man gets so much shit for everything he does.

Sure, we all turned the other way when he got a DUI, was drag racing, and pissing in a bucket, generally acting like an ass… but I think there’s a much worse headline we all could’ve gotten.

This is someone who’s survived a dark period and is now getting the proper help to continue on, and that’s really admirable. I’ve never, ever been embarrassed to be a Belieber, but this makes me really proud.

I am so excited this album is here, I’m ready to see what’s next for him… and I’ve already got my tickets for the Texas stop on his Changes Tour this spring.

Congratulations, to Justin, and cheers to all the fans!