Photo courtesy of Mike Rosenthal

Justin Bieber Finds His Voice with ‘Justice’

Justin Bieber, a name synonymous with screaming fans, has released his sixth studio album Justice. This album is his most diverse to date as he draws inspiration from R&B and Christian genres. His new album debuted at the top of the Billboard charts and already has fans singing the lyrics at the tops of their lungs.

This album is unlike any other Bieber has released because it draws heavily on his Christian beliefs and values. Songs such as “Hold On,” “Anyone” and even the obvious “Holy” each have alliterations to the Bible or God in some way. By doing this, Bieber has widened his audience allowing for Christians to take intrigue into his newfound religious beliefs and has contributed to the success of the album.

Also, a big influence on this album is his wife, Hailey Baldwin Bieber, whom he married in 2018. Love songs are some of the more memorable songs an artist can create, and Bieber delivers just that with songs like “2 Much,” “Somebody” and “Lifetime.” The listeners can hear and feel just how much he has matured since his previous relationships and how Hailey has been a positive influence on his overall life.

His album also gets dark at times, touching on subjects not many have the guts to do. In his song “Lonely,” featuring Benny Blanco, he sings about how hard growing up in the spotlight was and how even when he is surrounded by millions of people, he still can feel lonely. He alludes to his infamous arrest in 2014 and his drug use with the lines “And everybody saw me sick/ They criticized the things I did as an idiot kid.” This is also seen in his song “Unstable” featuring The Kid LAROI where he mentions being sick, but “you” always loved him. This “you” perhaps means God, his wife or even his fans. Allowing his audience in to see the darker side of him gives this album humanity which his others sometimes fail to do.

His choice of featuring artists also adds to the achievement of this album. He incorporates a wide variety of pop, R&B and rap artists into his songs, amounting to a total of 13 features on Justice. He includes up-and-coming artists such as The Kid LAROI, to more notable artists like Billboard Award winner Tori Kelly and Grammy nominated Chance The Rapper. This vast incorporation opens his music to a wider audience and allows it to be heard by more than just fans of Bieber himself.

Bieber includes an interesting interlude on track seven of Justice. The track is aptly named MLK interlude and is a minute and a half of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ‘s “But If Not” sermon that he delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA in November of 1967. One can conclude that this sermon is where Bieber found the name for his album. His inclusion of the speech also helps to bring light to the events that have been happening for the past year in America. Perhaps this is his way of paying homage to tragedies that took the lives of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. He also opens his album with a line from MLK Jr. that says, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I believe his inclusion of these two clips helps the listener to relate and understand how music can help heal and educate on important matters.

Justin Bieber has created another smash hit that is sure to earn him Grammy nominations. This might just be his best album yet. Fans are sure to come running once he announces a tour because this is the kind of album that should be experienced live.



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