By Madison Pena
Justin Bieber gave ecstatic fans a Valentine’s Day gift this year when he dropped his newest album, “Changes,” in an anticipated return to music.
The album comes nearly five years after his last album “Purpose,” which was released in 2015 and tells an entirely different narrative. His newest release serves as a love letter to his wife, Hailey Rhode Bieber, who was very involved with the production of the album.
Bieber’s journey back to writing and recording music was captured in a YouTube Original docuseries, called “Justin Bieber: Seasons.” The film chronicled the different seasons in Bieber’s life from his decision to take a break prior to writing new music and how his marriage brought him back to the studio.
In July 2017, after surmounting pressure and mental health-related issues, Bieber decided to end his “Purpose” world tour early. In the docuseries, he recalled going through dark times with drug use and falling into depression which caused him to lose his drive to create music.
Two years later at Coachella 2019, Bieber surprised fans by joining Ariana Grande on stage to announce a new album coming soon. This came shortly after announcing his engagement to then fiancé Hailey Baldwin, his muse for the album.
“Changes” proves to be a new step in Bieber’s career as he makes his grown-up debut as an adult and married man. However, some of the songs continue to have a more immature feel.
The album features collaborations with some of music’s top artists like Post Malone, Kehlani, Travis Scott and more, practically promising hits off the bat. Prior to the album’s release, Bieber dropped his single “Yummy”, which immediately skyrocketed him to the top of the charts.
While the song is catchy, it certainly set a different tone than the rest of the album. “Yummy” didn’t sound like the new mature vibe that Bieber seemed to be going for, but it did its job in getting audiences excited for his new music.
In his next single “Intentions” featuring Quavo, Bieber explicitly lets his fans and wife know exactly how he feels, writing, “Shower you with all my attention. Yeah, these are my only intentions.”
Bieber’s first two singles off the album were stylistically similar and easy chart-toppers, but were only scratching the surface in the meaning behind the singer’s tribute to his wife. Aside from a handful of songs that are more focused on making it to the charts, most of Bieber’s tracks are a raw and deep look into how his wife completely changed his life and got him back on track.
In his title song “Changes,” the singer narrates how he’s experiencing changes in his life, hinting to his recovery from drug addiction and mental health struggles. Despite these hurdles, Bieber explains in his lyrics how he strives to be better, a common theme throughout the album and his YouTube docuseries.
“I just wanna be the best of me. Even though sometimes I forget to breathe. So that I can be the best for you. That’s all I wanna do,” Bieber wrote, directly referencing his difficulty with overwhelming anxiety that kept him away from the studio for years.
Another one of Bieber’s more intimate songs is “That’s What Love Is” describes how he knew Hailey was the one, saying she “teaches him patience” and that when his self-esteem is low, she “lifts him through the ceiling.”
The entire album is the ultimate romantic homage to Hailey, leaving fans wishing someone would write these songs about them. While he has clearly gone through a lot in recent years, the 25-year-old singer and songwriter is certainly back on track, as he changes his tune to fit the newest season of his life.