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Justin Bieber, Purpose
HIS recent past may be defined more by scrapes with the law than hit singles, but Justin Bieber has finally returned to the studio – and he may be leaving with a brand-new fan base.
Although he will forever be associated with screaming teenagers, Bieber’s latest album Purpose carries itself with a maturity which holds a far wider appeal.
Mark My Words and I’ll Show You are stripped-back openers which match the Canadian’s smooth vocals with slick production. Even the latter track’s lyrics pay a passing nod to the idea that the singer’s past and future are very different places (“Cause life’s not easy/I’m not made out of steel/Don’t forget that I’m human/Don’t forget that I’m real”).
Radio-friendly though they may be, What Do You Mean? and Sorry are at the mature end of the pop spectrum, with Sorry’s vaguely reggae-tinged beat sitting nicely alongside the synth backing.
Star names pop up throughout the album, from Ed Sheeran on the forgettable Love Yourself to rapper Nas on We Are, and the influence of Skrillex and Diplo can be felt throughout, no more so than with Where Are Ü Now.
If Bieber’s misdemeanours had put his career in danger of crashing spectacularly, Purpose has steered him back on track. His fan base – both old and new – will be hoping he continues along the road to redemption.