Justin Bieber may not be the best artist to feature a Martin Luther King Jr. speech right at the beginning of an album, but his work on “Justice” is just as compelling as the historical icon. Despite the contradiction that comes with putting MLK and Bieber together, the record that quickly follows the sample is a surprisingly earnest pop album.
“Justice” effectively accentuates the subtle charisma and agility that help bolster Bieber’s popularity. Now 27, he finally seems to be having fun after such turbulent and well-document adolescence. After a significant period of distress, Bieber looks like he’s well adjusted to adulthood and the joys of newfound life and stability. And, this permeates to his music.
After the burden of proving to a distrusting public that he is no longer the same problematic teen through “Changes,” “Justice” shows Bieber experimenting on new ideas. Ideas that are foreign both to him and the landscape where his music thrives.
“Die for You” touches on pop-rock territory, while “Hold On” is a synth-pop single that begins as a ballad and curls into a perfect spiraling baseline. “Ghost,” with its themes touching on grief, joins UK garage-lite beats with folky acoustic guitars. This may not be the strongest album in Bieber’s arsenal, nor does it have songs the size of “Sorry,” but it is definitely the smoothest bum he released to date.
Bieber is not a vocal powerhouse by any right, but he is undeniably talented. And, this talent is well presented through his versatility in this album, and the vocal techniques and dynamics he shows here are promising. He may have been cornered into a bad place by the public in his younger years, but “Justice” definitely demands reparation and signals a whole new era for the artist.
Any reviews cannot summarize the renewed vigor he showed, but an attentive play-through can definitely convey the feelings the album wants you to experience. Look forward to hearing more.