Welcome to the Justin Bieber reclamation project.
It’s currently in its final stage, has featured a few laughs (mostly at his expense) and an abundance of tears. There have been some well-timed talk show appearances and the words “I’m sorry” spoken more times than you care to count.
But lately, Bieber’s transition from absolute trainwreck to prince of pop once again has been all about quality music. That’s what populates “Purpose,” the 21-year-old’s surprisingly awesome fourth studio album.
Bieber may be his own worst enemy when it comes to his social life. But inside the recording studio, he remains his one true BFF.
Of course, there’s been some help along the way. The songs on “Purpose” benefit from brilliant production. Skrillex crafts soulful dubstep on the standouts “I’ll Show You” and “Sorry,” while producer Axident’s cascading grooves consume the repeat-worthy “Company.”
Bieber’s recovery, at least sonically, began with Skrillex and Diplo’s hit “Where Are U Now,” which weaves its way into “Purpose’s” second half. But Bieber, more talented than haters give him credit for, takes that pop-ambition and runs with it.
The impactful opener “Mark My Words” shines the spotlight on Bieber’s voice. Same goes for the Ed Sheeran-penned “Love Yourself.” Meanwhile, the mesmerizing hit single “What Do You Mean?” remains the biggest guilty-pleasure song of 2015.