Before reviewing Justin Bieber’s new album, Purpose, here are 5 impressive facts on the Ontario recording artist.
1. Justin Bieber holds the record for the number of songs a Canadian artist has placed in the Billboard Canadian Hot 100. That number is 45, or 50 when including entries as a featured artist. To date, 31 (or 35 including featured entries) of them have made the Top 40, also a record.
2. Justin Bieber is the only Canadian artist to score triple platinum or higher certification on more than one single in the digital era. “Boyfriend” and “Beauty and a Beat” both went 3x platinum.
3. Justin Bieber has scored two #1 hits on the Hot 100: “Boyfriend” and “What Do You Mean”. The only other Canadian to accomplish this is The Weeknd. (Carly Rae Jepsen hit #1 twice, the second time via her collaboration with Owl City.)
4. Thanks to “Boyfriend”, Justin Bieber is one of only 20 teenage soloists globally in the history of the Canadian charts (since 1964) to hit #1 with a single.
5. Justin Bieber has scored 6 number one albums in Canada: My World (EP), My World 2.0, Never Say Never: The Remixes, Under the Mistletoe, Believe, and Believe: Acoustic.
Purpose is the new album from Justin Bieber. Excluding EP, remix/acoustic, live, holiday, and compilation albums, it is formally Justin Bieber’s third album following My World 2.0 (2010) and Believe (2012). Purpose’s release on November 13, 2015, was preceded by four singles: “Where Are U Now” (featured), “What Do You Mean”, “Sorry”, and “I’ll Show You”. The first two of these have achieved double platinum certification for sales of 160,000. “What Do You Mean” debuted at #1. “Sorry” peaked at #2 and has just gone gold.
While the last album Believe was a densely sculpted pop tour de force, albeit with some stripped down ballads, the flavour of Purpose is downtempo electronic beat music. It is sparser with Justin’s breath intensive vocals depicting lyrical reflections on his life in the limelight of fame and the challenges it presents. As such, there is a good match in delivery and sentiment which makes the whole package come through as genuine.
Justin Bieber launched the album with a show at The Staples Centre in Los Angeles. He premiered the film Purpose: The Movement made up of music videos for all tracks on the album. Today, he is releasing one new MV per hour. Next year, 2016, The Biebs will be embarking on a world tour to promote the album.
On opener “Mark My Words”, which the Biebs has hinted may be about his ex-GF, the singer croons promises and apologies over pitch-bend backing vocals. “I’ll Show You” is a sweeping ballad of strong beats and an icy synth refrain. “What Do You Mean” gets things woozy with its cute lyrics and is perhaps the album’s most infectious jam. With giddy up beats, “Sorry” is Purpose‘s party anthem. A break from the electronic bleeps is “Love Yourself” written with Ed Sheeran, a minimalist affair. From there, prepare for some ground shaking, as “Company” cranks up the bass funk. The three tracks following are with featured artists. Sitting between them and his big hit “Where are U Now” with Skrillex and Diplo is piano charmer “Life Is Worth Living”. Purpose is capped off by clap-along “Children” and the piano ballad title track which morphs into a spoken word segment of reflection on Bieber’s journey so far.
Purpose gets top marks for innovation, largely due to Skrillex’s on-the-mark dabbling, and stands as one of the better pop albums of 2015. Justin Bieber himself is the Rudolph of the modern era. He now leads the team. Purpose currently claims the throne on iTunes albums. iTunes