‘Changes’: A Reflection Of Justin Bieber’s Uniqueness

Justin Bieber (Photo by Getty Images for Universal Music)

In his fifth studio album, it is important to say that Justin Bieber has never sounded so in love and he has definitely never felt so better to which makes the album title ‘Changes’ simply perfect for it. 

The album encompasses the sounds of a reformed romantic closing the blinds to shut out the world, then spending a long weekend in bed with the object of his affection, coming up with different ways to say “You complete me.” For a valentine album, Bieber definitely filled it in with so much love along with a flawless production complemented by a soothing voice that truly speaks and enunciates the love. 

‘Changes’ is once again a reflection of the unique work of the Canadian singer-songwriter that has shown demonstrable growth as both a vocalist and a recording artist whose works always seems like a sort of sonic time capsule of the era in which it was created. His works are a true depiction of this, from “My World 2.0,” in 2010 which came out in a time of happy-go-lucky pop, to “Believe” which navigated the dance sounds of 2012, “Purpose” had a mixture of EDM pop and soul and now “Changes” comes with a unique R&B feature. 

Right now, “Changes” can be considered as one of the most cohesive albums in the pop world with every single track floating purposefully to adjoin and meld itself into the next as his acoustic opening track “All Around Me” floats into the gently percussive “Habitual,” which floats into the springtime step of “Come Around Me,” like an extended love suite and a flawless dance repertoire without breaks with each step leading and inviting the other. “Intentions,” comes out all jaunty, roof-down swinging, comes along and offers the closest thing to a conventional pop melody on the album and “Yummy,” a track with a maddeningly and irresistibly repetitive hook that extols the pleasures of making love stoned and comes as yummy as you My can be while trying to be non-cliche about the entire yumminess. 

The album not only emphasizes a totally new Justin Bieber but welcomes him into a new phase in his life where he is a happily married 25-year-old with everything to lose and at the center of it all is his love.  Definitely, the album couldn’t have come out at a better time other than the lover’s day, with him on the cover, losing shirtless, a probable reference to his naked emotions openly exposed to the world, on a backdrop of red. 

His transition in the five years since his last album is remarkable, he has taken a lot of twists and turns to finally get to where he is. There have been various romantic entanglements  ( including an on-off relationship with Selena Gomez that’s still inspiring her to release sad songs that say so much),  bad-boy tantrums and a near-meltdown that had Bieber canceling dates on his “Purpose” tour and quitting social media. He hints at those demons and entirely at his morphing phase, but never digs too deep.

As a happily married man to his beautiful wife Hailey Baldwin, his lyrics reflect his newfound peace and love, “Every time I go the wrong way, you turn me back around,” he sings over plucky synths that sound like drops of water on “Forever,” later adding, “Never thought I’d settle down, I cannot lie to myself / I was busy focusin’ on bein’ by myself / Set my feelings to the side, they all got dusty on the shelf / You wiped them down when I had nothin’ left,” before Post Malone and Clever arrive to provide back-up.

The album reflects his soul and his person, not just in his state of love but also in his words in his track “At Least for Now,” he gets to finally step out of his own love story and explores the stark reality and uncertainty of conscious coupling. “Never mind me watchin’ you, never mind the tension / Please excuse me while I dance, I forgot to mention I’m going on strike,’ ‘ he sings over piano notes.

At the end of the 51 minutes of the album, there is definitely a point drilled out by Bieber: He’s hopelessly in love. “Changes,” is an album for lovers, for Valentine’s Days, and for all the candlelit evenings between them. It’s a lover’s album for every lovely moment.