Music Reviews

Justin Bieber’s “Intentions” with his First Album in Five Years

Everyone with a beating heart and twenty-first century technology knows who Justin Bieber is. One of the most famous Canadian pop stars to walk the earth, Justin recently released his record-breaking fifth consecutive number one studio album on the Billboard 200 chart, Changes, on Valentine’s Day. Inspired by his marriage to supermodel Hailey Baldwin and spiritual growth, the highly anticipated seventeen-track project reveals Justin’s subsurface emotions and significant shift in lifestyle. From collaborating with hip-hop powerhouses Travis Scott, Post Malone, Quavo and Kehlani, to singing solo R&B ballads, Justin breaks down his barriers, opening up through full-frontal lyrics and smooth baritone vocals. In contrast from his fourth album, Purpose, Justin’s latest songwriting does not stem from a dominantly turbulent period of his life. Marking the end of an era filled with chaotic rebellion and superfluous pleasure, Changes emulates Justin’s loyalty and experiential maturity.

Finished with his womanizing years, Justin confirms his commitment to Hailey and newfound patience, sharing that they’ve “got the rest of [their] lives” together. As explained through the title song “Changes,” experiencing changes doesn’t mean that he’s compromised his individuality or personality. Erasing bad habits and starting fresh amid this exciting new chapter of his life, Justin expresses his desire to avoid disappointment. Serving as a rock within their relationship and pillar of their marriage, Hailey is not just a muse — she’s Justin’s entire world.

@justinbieber / Instagram

While the pop mogul does not preach the gospel in a Kanye Jesus Is King fashion, Justin finds comfort in pouring out his love for God. As he closes “Changes,” Justin uses spoken word, stating that “people change, circumstances change, but God always remains the same.” His faith drives his love for Hailey, giving him the strength to “shower [her] with all [his] attention.” Communicated through R&B synths and down tempo beats, “Habitual” emphasizes Justin’s unconventional feelings and approach to his fresh marriage. Looking forward to creating lasting memories with Hailey, Justin redefines his physical and emotional status, belting his “Available” nature with “arms wide open” over catchy hip-hop instrumentals and rhythmic verses. Selfless instead of selfish, Justin refers to himself as his wife’s “punching bag” in “Take It Out On Me,” begging that she “hit [him] with all of [her] might.” Cognizant of his imperfections, Justin acknowledges that Hailey was the missing piece to his puzzle throughout the fire track “Forever.” Sing-rapping praises with Post Malone about her healthy influence on his life, Justin repeats “Every time I go the wrong way, [Hailey] turn[s] me back around.” Confident in Hailey’s zero-need for filters while proud of her assets, Justin’s standout single “Intentions (feat. Quavo)” functions as the culmination of reasoning behind his sacrifices as a husband, poetically flowing alongside electronic claps and steady bass. Even though Justin Bieber is no longer the high-pitched boy discovered by manager Scooter Braun who used to dawn purple sweatshirts and sing extensively about various crushes, he returns to his roots as an authentic artist, unapologetically expressing his love for the newest (and final) woman in his life.

Featured image provided by Def Jam / RBMG

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