Def Jam; 2015
By Ron Gallo. December 1st, 2015.
In what will most likely be considered his resurrection album, the late, great Justin Bieber returns with a brand of sultry, dark matter, colonial, mystifying, big boy circuit board jazz pop. The one thing that really brings this album to the light is that it exposes that Bieber is in fact, at least 65% human which may come as a disappointment to a majority of his fans as he divulges almost too quickly in the albums second track “I’ll Show you” with lines such as, "This life's not easy, I'm not made out of steel, Don't forget that I'm human, Don’t forget that I'm real.”
The albums first single, “Sorry”, finds Bieber at his most earnest expressing to a friend (male or female) his sympathy for “destroying" them in chess (maybe checkers, but we assume chess to remain consistent with Biebers newfound maturity) which he alludes to with lines such as, "But you know that there is no innocent one in this game for two”.
All this time, I thought jazz flute was just a pop culture reference to the move Anchorman starring Will Ferrell, however the instrument itself (just back from a trip in the caribbean) makes an astonishing cameo on the chorus of “What Do You Mean?”, a literate and philosophical journey in distinguishing between the language of the mouth and that of the body. Yes vs. No. Dismal. Flounder. Poltergeist. Automatic first down.
One of the biggest factors concerning this record is what speakers you choose to listen on. If I am listening to it on my internal iPhone speaker I would give the record a 3.5 for lack of bass feeling and general audio quality. if I were to bump this thing through some top-of-the-line JBL’s we would be looking more in the 9.8 range on the scale. Which, Bieber having the depth to create a subjective record like that is very bold and respectable at this juncture in his career. All that being said, in order to find the proper rating for the record I would add the two various ratings together (9.8 + 3.5) which equals 13.3 then divide that number by 2 to arrive at the average, 6.65!
We have come a long way from the “Baby” days, Bieber now covered in Henna tattoos and the same hair as the two gentleman from the recreation of the film “Funny Games” starring Michael Pitt, he has opened a whole new realm for nostalgic 28 year old girls "freaking out" about their approaching 30’s to, simultaneously, ironically but also sincerely express that they “can’t stop listening to this.” A lot of critics are saying it evokes the tangible feelings discussed in Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”.
Justin Bieber inspires me to want to be honest and honestly, this is his best album to date. I have a Magic: The Gathering tournament to attend now, so we will just leave it at that.