Justin Bieber gets introspective on ‘Justice’

Photo of Justin Bieber's Justice Record
Def Jam/Courtesy

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Justin Bieber’s sixth album Justice is a saga of introspection and self-determination. In an era of unprecedented crises, Bieber expresses his search for justice in love and religion.

A bildungsroman, Bieber’s album reflects on his past and marks his growth. Through his matured mindset, he affirms his deep-rooted values of marriage and religion. Justice promises raw honesty from the reformed pop singer: Abiding by Christian principles, Bieber confesses his sins and reflects on his character and self-worth. He promises to devote all of his time and energy to his wife, Hailey Bieber. In a time of loneliness and isolation, Bieber emphasizes how important it is not to lose sight of personal relationships and to continue to put effort into maintaining those connections. 

“Peaches” stands out among other tracks in the album with its unique jazz and soul melody. Collaborating with Daniel Caesar and GIVĒON, two prominent R&B artists, Bieber departs from his traditional pop style to explore the calming effects of rhythm and blues. The song forges a dichotomy between Bieber’s fast-paced lyrics and Caesar’s and GIVĒON’s soothing verses. Caesar’s melancholic vocals induce a state of euphoria, and the catchy yet repetitive chorus leaves listeners singing along by the end of the song. 

Bieber’s transition to R&B in “Peaches” forces consideration of the tremendous influence of Black artists on the process of creating music and their role in creating the jazz and R&B musical styles. In fact, Bieber attempts to open up a conversation about race throughout Justice: Excerpts of Martin Luther King’s sermons detailing topics such as love and justice are present in the first song of the album “2 Much” and the interlude.

Despite being a less popular song, “Off My Face” is a must-hear on Justice. Building on the concept of Bieber’s deep and irrevocable love for his wife, his vocal talent shines through in a melodic falsetto. Accompanied by only an acoustic guitar, Bieber uses this opportunity to reveal his vulnerabilities in being so intoxicated by his love for Hailey, and the raw emotion in this song remains untampered by excessive beats or background noise. Bieber has grown into a mature man, as evidenced by how he articulates his feelings and emotions in this song.

Justice excels in demonstrating Bieber’s increased self-awareness and ability to be to himself even in a public sphere. Lyrically, he has matured to focus more on internal growth and values than external, material factors. On a musical level, Beiber maintains his continued pop streak with similar yet catchy beats. Although a little too gushy, he truly does justice to his love. The album is a testament to how much care and attention he now puts into his relationships.  Through the songs, Bieber provides a common ground for listeners to contemplate how they regard their own relationships with people and ask themselves, are they doing justice to those they care about?

On a first listen, many of the songs begin to blur together, using similar, hackneyed lyrics. The repeated pop chords lose their effect on charming the listener to transcend into a state of musical enlightenment. Consistently hearing Bieber proclaim his undying love nearly renders the term meaningless and the excitement at his growth slowly wears off. On a microscopic level, each song has its own unique melody and character, but when shuffled together, the unique facets of each melody becomes muddled in a sea of trite sayings and tunes.

While Justice may fail to bring individuality to many of the songs, it redeems itself with its noteworthy motifs of love and religion. Justice’s emphatic messages of devotion and introspection resonate as a universal reminder for people to escape their rut of monotony and find new ways to love.

Contact Sejal Krishnan at [email protected].