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  • Writer's pictureTroy ANTIART

ALBUM REVIEW: Justin Bieber, Justice

Grade: D-

(Editor's Note: Grade changed to D because Troy complimented the record too much for it to be a D-)

Justin Bieber has released his newest album, Justice, and it’s a boring mess that is trying to carry a social message but failing to say anything of substance. There are multiple samples on this project from Martin Luther King Jr, and I’m not sure as to why. Just to jump into this album, “2 Much,” the intro song, starts with an MLK sample where he says one of his most famous lines, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” That’s a great quote, however Justin then devolves into a story where he sings about how he loves his wife. With lackluster production that felt super bare with just a piano. It was a really bad way to start the album, because usually when people quote MLK, they sing about racial injustice or social injustice that is happening in the world. It really creates a weird vibe for the rest of the song and the rest of the album. (Editor's Note: Social Justin Warrior),

“Deserve You,” had better production than the intro with it’s dynamic snare drums, and the beat sounds incredible during the chorus of this track. Justin’s singing on the chorus reminds me of Justin Timberlake, but not as good. “As I Am (feat Khalid), has another great chorus from Justin, and that starts a nice trend on the album where Justin sounds great on the chorus, but struggles with verses.

“Off My Face” has a nice acoustic guitar on it, and Justin’s singing is great as well, but I'm left completely unsatisfied when it finished. I kind of wished that the end of the song was more grand and had a big finish, but the song keeps its progression the same throughout the whole runtime and it could have definitely needed something more. “Holy” has youth pastor vibes all over it and with Chance The Rapper on it embraced that aesthetic. “Unstable (feat. The Kid LAROI),” is very boring production wise and Justin sounds a little whiny. The Kid LAROI also does his best Post Malone impression on this track.

“MLK Interlude” is the next track and it sticks out a lot in this pop album. Usually, I skip interludes for reviews, but this one is too big for me to ignore. The speech is pretty great, it’s about how if you don’t stand up for justice, then you have basically given up on life. He mentions some excuses that we tell ourselves for not going against the grain of society such as fear of losing your job, or fear of losing your popularity. However, “you may go on and live until you are 90 / But you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90.” The speech is very inspiring from start to finish. Especially at the end when he ends his sermon with, “you died when you refused to stand up for justice.” Then the album transitions to “Die For You (feat. Dominic Fike), where Justin sings about how he would die for his wife.

That transition was horrible! Is Justin equating fighting for racial justice to his wife? It just was such a bizarre transition and it’s on the verge of almost even being offensive (Editor's Note: It is offensive XD). “Die For You” wasn’t one of the better songs on this project anyway, but I can’t stop thinking about what MLK said, it overshadows anything these two even attempt to bring to the table. The beat is significantly better than anything on this project, though. It has this 80’s vibe to it that’s pretty fun. The lyrics were mid, but this song’s production saves the track. If only Justin made music in this direction for this album.

“Hold on” had a strong chorus performance and the song had a nice sentiment about Justin saying that he would be the person who could help you in a depressive episode because of the depressive episodes he faced growing up in the public eye, but it still comes off as superficial. “Somebody” is pretty mid where he uses pop stereotypes like “I’ll be the shoulder you can cry on.” The production seemed to be fuller, however I am once again asking for more. ”Ghost,” is another song with a great chorus, but I’m not sure what Justin really wants in the song. Is it that he wants the memory of the person, like a certain view of a person? His verses were not great in explaining what he was trying to describe.

“Peaches (feat. Daniel Caesar & Giveon),” was a solid song with some Cali vibes and a great feature from Daniel Caesar. But Giveon’s feature sounded a little weird in his verse. I wish that both of the features were longer as well. The rest of the album was pretty bad. “Lonely” was the better song on the project, but I thought the “ Lo-o-o-onley” part did not sound great. And the content of the song is about how he has everything but a friend doesn’t really add a new perspective than what was previously said.

Overall, this album is a complete miss with some great production elements and vocal moments. The MLK influence seems to have been cut and pasted into this project without even mentioning it or why he thought it was important for the project. Almost every song had solid choruses, but the verses on this album were so weak that it’s hard to justify them.

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