By Jada Hester
After years of drug usage and struggling with health issues, Justin Bieber has been making big changes in his life. The singer got sober and married Hailey Baldwin in 2018, and his first album since Purposes in 2015 was released on Valentine’s Day. Bieber’s years of teen pop and songs about heartbreak are now in the past, and they’ve been replaced with an R&B sound and the wonderful honeymoon phase of his newlywed life.
Bieber’s newest album, Changes, is all about eroticism and making love to his brand new wife. When executed well, these subjects make for a great album. However, Changes has virtually no significance, and the shallow lyrics are more likely to confuse listeners than charm or excite them. The verses lack the intimacy present in most love songs, and some lyrics are downright baffling. In “Come Around Me,” Bieber sings about how he will “get it in expeditiously,” whatever that means.
If “Yummy,” the only single released prior to the album’s release, was any indication for Changes, fans were destined to be disappointed. Singing “Yeah, you got that yummy, yum / That yummy, yum / That yummy, yummy,” didn’t pose well for the rest of the album. In “Take It Out On Me,” Bieber croons, “Yeah, I’m your plug / Whatever you need, I’ll make sure you get enough / And when your battery gets low / I’ma be the one to charge you up.” The absence of tenderness is what makes this album difficult to listen to, and the nearly lazy lyrics leave much to be desired.
Some improved lyrics come to light in songs like “Forever” with Post Malone and “Get Me” with Kehlani, though without other artists present, the album likely would have flopped. However, after so many years of health problems and drug abuse, the boring music is almost welcome, but with 17 songs that all basically sound the same, Bieber would’ve accomplished more with a shorter, better-written album. Changes is, at its best, forgettable. If Bieber plans to stay relevant in a music world that expects better from him, then he needs to step up his game.