Justin Bieber: Purpose

Posted December 8, 2015 by in Pop



3/ 5


Genre: , ,
Producer: , , , ,
Genre: Dance, R&B, pop
Producer: Justin Bieber, Mason (MdL) Levy, Jason "Poo Bear" Boyd, The Mogul, Diplo, Skrillex, Benny Blanco, Blood Pop, Axident, The Audibles, Soundz, Ian Kirkpatrick, Gladius, Big Taste, Maejor, Nico Stadi, Steve James, Jeremy Snyder, Josh Abraham, Oligee, D.K., The Punisher, Gudwin Stadi
Label: Def Jam
Format: Digital download, compact disc
Time: 48:13
Release Date: 13 November 2015
Spin This: "What Do You Mean," "Sorry," "Company"


First half highly dominated by fresh showcase of urban, dance sounds. This is clearly Skrillex's pet project


Bieber slips easily into a coma of relaxed, uninterested chill; voice never rises to big effects expected on this type of Usher soul.

Biebz slips into sleepy cool vocals and hypnotic R&B on fourth LP

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Biebz slips into sleepy cool vocals and hypnotic R&B on fourth LP

The arena of urban sexualized R&B now dominated by Nick Jonas and The Weeknd may be landing a truly unexpected newcomer with Justin Bieber. The tormented soul of Bieber and his climb out of the abyss may be dominating headlines, pushing his music to the back seat of public discourse, but Purpose – the Canadian singer’s fourth solo album – is not a bad set. This time, he’s expanding his musical territory to encompass a world of improved production value, powered by slick rhythmic beats and sobering midtempo riffs culled by a powerhouse of creative energy which includes Skrillex, MdL, the Audible and Axident. Skrillex fingers rest on much of the disc, contributing to five of the original album’s songbook. It’s also his first set on Def Jam.

Purpose temporarily nixes the cookie cutter synthpop of “Beauty and the Beat” in exchange for Skrillex muscle flexing and The Weeknd culture. “What Do You Mean?” and “Sorry” plays up that alley quite well. “Company” and the sexy Ginuwine-peppered “No Pressure,” which immediately follows, compliments what transpired, exposing the allure of the first half. He does make one dip into the posh discotheques with “Where Are U Now,” but Skrillex and Diplo’s techno-heavy production completely overshadows the muted, subdued Bieber, particularly when the lyricless chorus kicks in.

And this is where Bieber starts to look more like a producer’s pawn. He sounds good, but it’s only because he’s totally surrounded by flattering sounds contributed by his superteam of sidemen. Unfortunately, his voice never reaches for convincing soulful emotion, grated in a perplexity of average pop crooning. His settles too deeply in a trance-like cool and sounds breathy, even fatigued in places. He depends on his falsetto to pull off his best Usher-esque crooning, a feature used prominently on his post-puberty work. And the guest cameos also help him from sounding like a lonely island, with Travi$ Scott holding up “No Sense” and Big Sean anchoring “No Pressure.” And even though the sonics are pretty impressive here, the album does leak one complete misstep – the bland minimalist approach used on the Benny Blanco-produced ”Love Yourself.”

The deluxe edition of features a giant nineteen-track set, one track finds him strangely pairing up with rap legend Nas (of course, the rap is the best part). But it’s really the first half of Purpose where much of good stuff resonates. In those minutes lie Bieber’s best work up to now. When compared to this, anything that came before felt like brittle bubblegum pop.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Response


Please support HIFI Magazine
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better