Justin Bieber’s long-awaited fifth studio album “Changes” dropped on Friday, Feb. 14. It’s accurately titled, reflecting on his personal evolution since his previous release five years ago.
The album has a clear R&B direction, diverging from his previous EDM-based hits. The 17-track record is an ode to the biggest change in his life — his marriage to model Hailey Bieber, formerly Hailey Baldwin. Every song is practically a love letter to his wife, which ends up being repetitive after listening to the entire album. Bieber’s smooth vocals are one of the only highlights from his album. His crisp falsetto is noteworthy and his voice pairs pleasantly well with the soulful mood.
He paired the album with the release of a 10 episode docu-series called “Justin Bieber: Seasons,” which debuted Jan. 27. It documented the creative process of producing his record, as well as diving into overcoming his drug problem, health issues and relationship with Hailey.
The 25-year-old singer sets the tone with the romantic yet underwhelming first track “All Around Me.” The lyrics feel unorganized and unoriginal, with Bieber singing “I never thought I could ever be a spoiler/Guess anything is possible with your help/Anything’s possible since you made my heart melt.” The song concludes with baby noises symbolizing Bieber’s desire to start a family.
The lead single “Yummy” is undeniably catchy with a pop-trap beat and a chorus that’s sure to get stuck in your head. However, its repetitious, superficial lyrics demonstrate the lack of growth in his songwriting skills; it sounds more like something expected during his “Baby” era. Bieber’s extreme promotion of this track on almost all social media platforms also made it quickly lose its appeal.
He teamed up with Migos rapper Quavo for the second single, titled “Intentions,” which is their third collaboration together. He croons about his admiration for his wife and overloads the song with compliments. Most of the lyrics don’t possess any real substance, such as the opening line “Picture perfect, you don’t need no filter/Gorgeous, make ’em drop dead, you a killer.” This uninspired subject matter unfortunately carries throughout the record.
Not even features from popular artists Travis Scott, Post Malone and Summer Walker could save this album. The singer fails to tap into any other emotions besides affection for his wife. He barely scrapes the surface of his feelings; it disappoints in illustrating the other challenges he experienced while taking a break from performing live. Furthermore, the shortage of variety in production left the album unexciting. Almost every song consists of the same predictable, slow beat, leaving listeners waiting for a build that never happens.
Overall, Bieber delivers consistency with his loved-up, soulful sound throughout the record. Nonetheless, his overrated comeback is disappointing due to limp lyrics and lackluster beats.
Must listen: “Habitual,” “Get Me,” “Forever”
Skip: “Running Over,” “Take It Out On Me,” “E.T.A”
Emily Pall is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.