In November 2015, Justin Bieber released “Purpose,” a project that expressed his apologies to the public, his newfound faith in God and the steps he had taken in his life to become a better person. From that point until 2020, the only Bieber music we had heard were collaborations with DJs like DJ Snake, Major Lazer and DJ Khaled, and features on songs like “10,000 hours” and “I Don’t Care.”
The lackluster post-“Purpose” discography was still at the forefront of pop music and provided us with some catchy hooks. But there wasn’t much in the way of development for Bieber, and with new release “Yummy” we can see that maybe he hasn’t developed or grown up at all.
We’ve essentially grown up with Bieber, or at least watched him do so. From when Usher found him on YouTube as a preteen to his bad-boy phase to his now religious phase, we’ve seen every side of him. However, I don’t think we’ve ever seen him this desperate before.
In the beginning of 2020, hit song from Roddy Ricch “The Box” sat nicely at the number one spot on billboard, mainly fueled by memes, social media presence and genuine love for his album “Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial” — and rightfully so. Bieber’s “Yummy” cannot compare on any level; whether that be production, lyrical content, memorability or musical talent at all.
For an in-depth look, you can watch any video on the internet with “yummy” in the title, but essentially the entire YouTube platform has battered Bieber for his sneaky tactics to get his song to number one. He encouraged overseas fans to download VPNs that would count their streams as American streams, told fans to purchase the song on iTunes multiple times, stream it on repeat while they sleep and even refused to be excited on a FaceTime call with a fan until she told him she had done all of the above.
I’d rather not continue to harp on his slimy tactics, however; mainly because it has been the talk of anyone with an opinion on music for the majority of January. Instead, I’d like to discuss his upcoming album “Changes” and the positive tactics he’s used to promote the project.
Firstly, he’s partnered with YouTube to create an original documentary series called “Seasons.” This is a beautiful roundabout way to linking the platform where he got started before his success. Only the first three episodes are available without purchase, therefore those are the only episodes I have ability to discuss.
These first few episodes have made me retract most of my excitement for this album and replace it with fear. “Purpose” is only of my favorite projects of all time, and this documentary has lead me to believe that Bieber is currently a mob boss sitting on a pile of money and resources that he will use to not create a musical project but rather manufacture an album.
A lot of this opinion stems from how hard the trailer and first two episodes push “Yummy.” It genuinely confuses me how Bieber and his team believe in this song so much, to the point where there’s already a remix with Summer Walker. If the song is any indication of the project, we’re in for a 17-song flop.
The second and third episodes hinted at many songs that will be on the project, so I will be speaking under the assumption that the songs discussed in the documentary will be on the album. The song with the most screen time was “La Bomba,” where Bieber sings line by line in the studio because he doesn’t know Spanish, which is concerning considering he will have to perform it live at some point and remember the lyrics.
Bieber also works on his vocals for the line “it’s okay to cry,” and says on camera that the title track and a song called “Double Negative” need re-writes and more work. These listed tracks, along with the new single “Get Me” with Kehlani, would allude to the idea that this is not a concept album, which I was originally expecting.
The upbeat Spanish inclusion, mixed with a song about crying, a song about whatever Bieber thinks is “Yummy” and a song with the name of a grammatical error I get yelled at for, provides a somewhat pathless approach for his comeback. However, there are eleven more songs to establish a theme, so maybe I’m being a bit hasty.
There are a few rumors for other features on the project, including Post Malone and Travis Scott, both of which Bieber has collaborated with in the past. I am personally excited for both of these tracks, or, hey, maybe it’s one track with both artists featured.
I am also excited for a mirrored-track to “Life is Worth Living” from “Purpose” that will tell the story of Bieber’s dark stories and pain. The documentary talks a lot about Bieber’s dopamine levels hitting all time highs during his extremely long tours, which make the rest of his life increasingly mundane and essentially desensitized him to just about everything else. It will be interesting to see if there is a concept to the album that stays consistent.
Overall, I’m nervous and excited for “Changes,” and I can’t wait to listen to it before Tame Impala’s “The Slow Rush” that will drop at the same time. I will get my pop-craving out of my head before listening to musically and lyrically superior content. I also most likely will be purchasing tickets for his show with Jaden Smith and Kehlani, so hopefully this will be a good album.
Welcome back, Justin.
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