At first glance, Justin Bieber’s new album Purpose is full of love-song clichés, promiscuity, and pop-star idolatry, with little new to offer. Yet amid a risk-averse music industry that is trying to exploit one of its biggest commodities, Justin begins the album by expressing a desire to bring hope and light to others through his own struggles. And he succeeds to a degree.
There are many glimpses of Justin’s own voice, questioning his idol status, his actions, and in the end seeking forgiveness and grace from others when he fails. The music itself is raw and subdued, created by producers such as Skrillex and Diplo. Despite being an idol to many, a commodity to others, and a villain in the media, Justin inspires me with his effort to change. Which means he achieved his goal for this album with me. (Def Jam)