Justin Bieber
Justice
2021

In a Word: Personal

Justin Bieber Justice

 

"There is an honesty about the album that embraces themes of love, sacrifice, positivity, self reflection and positivity."

After being “discovered” at the age of 13, Justin Bieber has now released his sixth album at the age of 27. Justice is the work of a more mature artist fusing his pop roots with a personal message of love, hope and faith.

Justice began in quarantine and the initial vocal tracks were recorded in Bieber’s home studio. The project grew to include a wider circle of musicians and performers that include Khalid, Chance the Rapper, the Kid Laroi, Dominic Fike, Daniel Caesar, Giveon, Beam, Burna Boy, Benny Blanco, as well as Lil Uzi Vert, Jaden, Quavo, DaBaby, and Tori Kelly on the deluxe edition.

The name of the album is derived from the Latin etymology of the name Justin, which translates to the word Justice. Bieber wrote about this album: “I know that I cannot simply solve injustice by making music, but I do know that if we all do our part by using our gifts to serve this planet and each other that we are that much closer to being united.”

To achieve this goal, the album samples quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. These inclusions have created some controversy, as critics have accused Bieber of cultural appropriation and quoting King’s iconic speeches out of context. It is worth noting that Bieber personally choose these speeches and committed a substantial amount of time on the album to playing several minutes of the speeches uninterrupted. It is my opinion that Bieber is using his platform as a pop star to reach millions with King’s powerful words, and the more people that hear these words, especially in times like this, the better.

There is an honesty about the album that embraces themes of love, sacrifice, positivity, self reflection and positivity. The track Lonely reveals Bieber at his most vulnerable with acoustic instrumentals, heartfelt vocals and a sprinkling of swear words to express a dark time of drugs and depression. Other tracks such as Die For You and Anyone are declarations of love to his wife Hailey. Holy is blend of secular sounds and Bieber’s background in faith sung in collaboration with Chance the Rapper. 

Bieber’s smooth vocals are in fine form as he effortlessly glides from upbeat anthems to love song and introspective ballads. It is easy listening with a higher goal. Bieber is under no illusion that this album is going to solve all the world’s problems, but it is noble attempt to use music to take audiences at least one step right direction towards goodness, faith - and justice.