Acting as a redemption album, Justin Bieber’s fourth studio release is the new chapter in the life of this pop star in the spotlight. While he’s often in the media for his childish antics, Purpose sees The Biebs grow up a lot in his music; there’s a real sense of maturity in what he’s singing about here.
Opening Purpose is hard hitting track Mark My Words and it’s the musical statement of Bieber making good on his promise ‘to be better’ and overall tone setter of the album. Sung over a simplistic melody and echoing scat he recites, “Mark my words, that’s all that I have” / “Mark my words, give you all that I got”. Following in a similar stride is I’ll Show You, a track that goes hand in hand with Mark My Words. Acting as a glance at his time in the spotlight with Bieber straight up saying “sometimes its hard to do the right thing when the pressure’s coming down like lightning” in the first verse. There’s an intricate electronic beat at play on the song that pulses and shakes in the chorus with the sincere sigh of vocals “I’ll show you” being repeated throughout. While Life Is Worth Living takes on a similar note but makes it’s impression by stripping back the electronica and highlighting Biebers raw vocals on an honest tune through the use of a piano melody.
As well as pouring out his heart and soul Purpose also hosts a number of big names on even bigger tracks. With producer Skrillex and DJ Diplo featuring on the epic single Where Are Ü Now and Skrillex then lending a hand at producing second single and dance jam Sorry. But the real star of the collaborations is the pop groove The Feeling, a heartfelt track costarring singer/songwriter Halsey. There’s no competing in this one, both their voices compliment the others beautifully when they soar above the electronic beat as they come together and croon ““If I am delusional then maybe I’m crazy” / “Am I In love with you?” / “Or am I in love with the feeling?”
Purpose is an 18-track collection coming straight from the heart, all sung with a real air of sincerity. Towards the end it gets a little one note without much differentiation of tune or vocals but there is still power in each of them. Overall purpose hits the mark, it’s a record all about documenting the tales of love lost, finding you and moving away from the past. Welcome to the new era of Justin Bieber as he continues to try and discover his true purpose through his music.