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Review: Justin Bieber – Changes

Written by Album reviews, Music

Growing up in the spotlight isn’t easy, but it seems like Justin Bieber has come out of the pop machine mostly unscathed. We’ve seen him quite literally go from a boy to a man, from maligned teen pop sensation to universal praise – critical and commercial – with 2015’s Purpose.

A few years away from solo music seems to have done him good; he’s settled down, gotten married, and (in his words) dealt with some “deep-rooted issues”. Changes marks his grand return to the industry, but it turns out that a more subdued lifestyle has left him without a lot to say.

Ostensibly, Changes is a love letter to Justin’s wife, Hailey Baldwin, and it’s certainly at its strongest in its more tender moments; Habitual, about the comfort they both find in their relationship, stands out.

Those moments are, however, few and far between, with the majority of the record being comprised of trap-infused sexual slow-jams, navigated with all the sensuality of a teenage boy’s Instagram DMs.

Said trap beats come courtesy of Poo Bear, a long-time collaborator who also had a hand in PurposeChanges sees much fewer hands in the pot, giving the record a more stripped-down feel than its predecessor, but without the help of Skrillex, Diplo and Benny Blanco, there’s a real sense that this album lacks its own identity, meandering from one generic R&B tune to the next without offering anything unique or substantial to digest on the way.

Changes isn’t a bad album per se – it’s just a dull one. Everything on the record is so inoffensive and indistinct that every track blends into one another, making this comeback feel half-baked.

(2.5/5)

Last modified: 27th February 2020

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