Valentine’s Day just got extra “Yummy” — or maybe not.
Justin Bieber’s highly anticipated fifth studio album arrived Friday to mixed reviews for a grown-up Biebs.
The 25-year-old pop star has been mega-famous for nearly half of his life and his YouTube documentary series “Justin Bieber: Sessions” has shown the toll it has taken on him.
He spoke candidly first time about his past experiences with drug addiction, revealing that he began depending on marijuana heavily and later got involved with alcohol, lean (a mixture of codeine cough syrup, soda and hard candy), pills, MDMA, psychedelic mushrooms, “everything.” Bieber eventually decided he wanted to get sober when he “felt like I was dying.”
Now, Bieber is embracing “Changes” and leaning on his marriage to the former Hailey Baldwin, who is the star of this comeback album, which is getting reviews that are neither enthusiastic nor critical.
Demi Lovato shared the album on her Instagram and said she was “proud” of Bieber. “So much 🔥🔥🔥 on this album,” she captioned her post.
But The Independent thinks Bieber may be stuck in his adolescent ways, writing that “he hasn’t come all that far since the days of ‘baby, baby, baby, oh.’ ”
Here are more excerpts from noteworthy reviews:
“Ultimately, the album is at its most satisfying whenever Bieber places its creative catalyst, his marriage to Hailey, front and center. Sure, there are some puppy-love lyrics (“You got the keys to my city!” Bieber exclaims on “Second Emotion”), but the album’s most compelling moments, from the yearning opener “All Around Me” to the crackling Quavo team-up “Intentions,” unabashedly detail the type of fullness that Bieber has found through his romantic partnership.”
“The singer makes yet another cocoon for himself on “Changes,” a low-key set of gentle electro-R&B jams that depicts his relationship with Baldwin as a refuge from the unkind world he’s still not quite ready to reenter. Long on clean-toned guitars and drowsy soul grooves — and many, many words about the love of a good woman — it represents a distinct shift from the throbbing EDM of Bieber’s last album, 2015’s “Purpose.”
“This isn’t so much an album that would rile you to the point of turning it off. Rather, it washes over you, with its mostly average beats (“Forever” is a rare exception) and seemingly random cluster of guest features – Post Malone, Travis Scott, the comedian-rapper Lil Dicky … For all Bieber’s talk of change, this album, the way he talks about love – and the fact he feels compelled to make not one, but five jokes about male genitalia at the playback – suggest he hasn’t come all that far since the days of ‘baby, baby, baby, oh.'”
“(‘Changes’) deals largely in low-key, short, floaty paeans to Bieber’s wife, Hailey Baldwin – “it’s a blessing that you’re in my life”, “you make sure I’m comfortable”, “what are our kids going to be like?”, etc – and to his faith. The title track is over almost before it begins, unexpectedly grinding to a halt with a spoken-word section: “People change, circumstances change, but God always stays the same.”
“…’Changes’ does sound and feel like a polished and cohesive continuation of ‘Journals’ without all the experimental parts, like that song where he finds an alien in his backpack and it turns out to be Lil Wayne. There are plenty of good beats (‘Intentions’ ft. Quavo is one) and his voice is, as always, so delicate you could sell it in a French patisserie – but in the end ‘Changes’ lands like love itself: easy to appreciate, but only significant when it’s happening to you.”
Justin Bieber albums:The pop star ‘Changes’ through the years, from ‘Baby’ star to serious ‘Intentions’
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Justin Bieber gets candid in ‘Seasons’:He talks past drug addiction, getting sober: I ‘felt like I was dying’