By Ananya Panchal
On Friday, I celebrated Valentine’s Day with the new love of my life: Justin Bieber’s fifth full-length studio album “Changes.”
I waited five years for this album, so you best believe I stayed up until midnight for the drop. And I thought about how fitting it was that an album, which is 90 percent love letters to his wife, Hailey Bieber, was released on Valentine’s Day.
The opening track, “All Around Me,” is one of the few songs on this album that reminds me of his “Purpose” album. The acoustics and slower beat pair perfectly with the song’s romantic lyrics.
I’m not sure if it was “All Around Me’s” emotional lyrics or the fact that this was the first new song of Bieber’s I’ve heard in three years, but I will admit: I cried. And I didn’t stop crying until the album was over.
“All Around Me” flows perfectly into “Habitual,” a chill song that made me realize the sound of this album is a lot like his 2013 album, “Journals.”
The next track, “Come Around Me,” is the more lighthearted, which has AMAZING vocals. About one minute into the song, listeners are hit with the bridge, followed by 20 seconds of beautiful vocal harmonization that I could listen to for eternity.
Track seven, “Forever,” teases a rap from Bieber and guest features Post Malone and Clever, and is the perfect song for a long car ride — something no one can object to, while tracks nine and 10, “Take It Out On Me” and “Second Emotion” (featuring Travis Scott), take an R&B turn that I am TOTALLY here for.
The last few songs on the album are “Changes,” “Confirmation” and “At Least for Now.” These tracks slow things down, because after all, this is a Bieber album and it must have some acoustic love songs. “Confirmation” has to be my favorite song on the album, and it’s one of the few songs that is not about his wife and instead is about the music industry.
“That’s What Love Is” is another one of my favorites, and it reminds me of his past album “Purpose.” It’s a faster acoustic track with amazing vocals — no surprise there.
“Intentions (featuring Quavo)” and “Get Me (featuring Kehlani),” were released prior to the album drop. These songs hinted that the album would be Bieber’s concrete transition to rhythmn and blues, so I guess his sound really is changing.
One word to describe this album is chill. There are no major bangers or sappy piano ballads. It’s simply a reflection of the new and improved 25-year-old Justin Bieber, how he has changed and how his newly-wed life is going.
His five years of silence prior to this album were consumed by public heartbreak, reckless behavior, mental health issues and probably a lot more than most private-lived young adults go through.
To say that he channelled his pain into an album wouldn’t be a lie, but an overstatement. It would be more accurate to say he took what he learned and produced an album about what it means to be in love. And while “Changes” will never match the sales of 2015’s “Purpose,” Bieber knows he will always have a special place in long time fans’ hearts. Kind of like our first love.
Whether you Beliebe or not, after listening to this album, one thing should be quite obvious: Justin Bieber can sing. In fact, his voice has never sounded better.