The following post contains affiliate links, which sends me a small percentage of any sales at no cost to you.
Justin Bieber released his sixth studio album, “Justice,” on Friday, March 19. This album comes just a little more than one year after he released “Changes” — which for me was such a fantastic comeback — and now we’ve got the Biebs back!
During quarantine, Bieber started releasing new music — I believe he dropped “Holy” in late September 2020 — and at first, I was shocked. “He’s coming out with new music already?” I thought. But then I realized that I’d just forgotten that that’s what artists do after Bieber took such a long break from 2015-2020.
I pre-ordered “Justice” on iTunes so I could start listening right when it dropped at midnight. It took a little bit longer to download, but I’ve listened to it enough that I have some thoughts on it… so let’s get into it.
“Justice” has 16 tracks, one of which is in an MLK interlude. The singles off the album were “Holy,” “Hold On,” “Anyone,” and “Lonely.”
He dropped the music video for “Peaches” right when the entire album was released.
Currently, my favorite songs on the album are “Holy,” “Peaches,” “Die For You,” and “Love You Different.” As I listen to the album more, I’m sure my tastes will change, but that’s where I currently stand.
I sort of hate it when my favorite songs are the singles, but it is what it is (“Intentions” is one of my favorite Bieber songs of all time).
When I heard “Holy” for the first time (the day it came it out), I was honestly blown away. I love the gospel influence — in the lyrics and the melody — plus, it’s sweet and catchy. I really want to see this song performed live! This is one of those songs that can put me in such a better mood; I can’t not dance to it.
“Peaches” is a welcomed twist and I know it might be a little early to declare this, but it’s my song of the summer. It’s sort of a stoner’s anthem, and the lyrics are a bit scattered, but it’s smooth as hell and it’s an ear worm. This is the song you’re gonna wanna bump with the windows down on a cool night.
It’s not important, but I absolutely love the music video, too — the fashion, the dancing, the neon lights, all of it.
I was cooking and cleaning my kitchen when I listened to the album for the first time and when “Die For You” came on, I stopped what I was doing in awe. This has a bit of an 80’s feel to it, which I’m a sucker for. The track features Dominic Fike and his voice is so complimentary to Bieber’s — it’s a great match.
“Love You Different” sounds like a classic Bieber track with an update. It’s pop, it’s sweet, and it’s got layers of sounds (including a bit of a video game tone). This is another one I’d love to see live because I think the dancing would be amazing!
I was pleasantly surprised to see Khalid as a feature on track three, “As I Am,” which is a Khalid-style slow jam.
I saw some comments on Twitter (ugh) regarding the features on this album; people saying he did it “just to get listens.”
I’m sorry but no. Obviously, I’m biased but it’s pretty clear he doesn’t need help getting listens. In his YouTube docuseries, he chooses artists he listens to for features — like many artists do. He doesn’t say this, but it’s a great way for new and/or lesser-known artists to get exposure.
I also saw “Rolling Stone” rip him for the MLK interlude, which is a speech. When I heard it, I was a little thrown off, and while it may not be a perfectly fitting choice, I do think that Bieber’s audience is heavily white and it’s not a bad idea to have the speech there. Bieber has used his voice for change on the racial injustice front, and I just don’t see how people hammering him for not doing it completely right is the way to go?
I’m not trying to give the Biebs a pass, but I also don’t know if I have it in me to hate on someone who’s made such a change in his life. This is a person who wanted to die; a person who had to have someone standby at night to check and see if he was still breathing. He’s not out here committing crimes — how about “Rolling Stone” go catch up with Armie Hammer instead?
Overall, this is a great album. I think some of these songs are some of his best work ever, but “Changes” remains to be my favorite album as a whole.
Regardless, I’m so thankful that artists found the energy to be creative during lockdown and give us new music!
What do you all think of the album?
To see more writing from me, be sure to subscribe to The Bitter Lemon by clicking “subscribe” on the right side of your screen. Want even more? Subscribe to my newsletter to get roundups, book recs and lifestyle tips.