Justin has finally found himself again
Gabriella Ferlita
10:34 20th March 2021

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Rather than continuing to tip-toe in the waters of the R&B scene, Justice sees Justin Bieber diving full-throttle into an eclectic mix of nearly every genre under the sun: pop, new-wave, funk, and tropical house. And somehow, it sticks.

It’s no wonder the 27-year-old has left his self-proclaimed R&B roots firmly in 2020 after that Grammy situation. You know, the one where his album Changes was considered for three pop nominations instead of the more appropriate R&B categories, according to Justin

In just 12 months, Justin has turned away from the hedonistic newly-wed ventures, jangling hip-hop beats and off-the-mark synthesisers on Changes. Instead, Justice deals with his volatile past head-on with the help of a few tight-knit guitar licks, insatiable drum fills and impeccably timed synth-pop soundscapes. And of course, no Justin Bieber album would be complete without a declaration of love for wife Hailey Bieber in the form of cutesy acoustic ballad 'Off My Face'.

Beginning with a melody as unmistakable as Philip Bailey and Phil Collins' Easy Lover', Justin’s irresistible new-wave track 'Die For You', featuring Floridian rapper Dominic Fike, marks a nod to the 80s. Justice continues in much the same fashion, with pure synth-pop bliss on 'Hold On', a sped-up version of Kim Carnes’ 'Bette Davis Eyes'. Elsewhere on the album, crisp electric guitars echo Justin’s supple vocals on 'Somebody', which could easily be the follow-up to his massive 2015 hit single 'Company'.

The album’s sweet spot comes into play on the effortlessly sumptuous 'Peaches', a deliciously fictitious musical affair between the sounds of Anderson Paak and Jack Johnson. Of course, vocals so sensual and crooning could only be achieved by artists Daniel Caesar and Giveon, just two of the album’s carefully-selected array of collaborators. Names to add to the star-studded list are Khalid ('As I Am'), Chance the Rapper (on the previously released 'Holy'), The Kid LAROI ('Unstable'), BEAM ('Love You Different') and Burna Boy ('Loved By You'). 

The last track on the album, 'Lonely' featuring benny blanco is without a doubt the most chilling. The final song is a poignant revelation into Justin’s complex feelings around being in the spotlight, with brutally honest lyrics like “everybody saw me sick and it felt like no one gave a shit” framed by Justin’s trembling, almost weeping vocals over a stripped-back, minimalistic keyboard melody. 

Justin has finally granted himself the Justice he deserves with an album worthy of every bit of praise it gets. Justin has finally found himself again. 

Justice is out now.

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Photo: Press