I’m not exactly a Justin Bieber fan (OK, maybe now I am), but I really appreciate “Changes.” Before we dive into why I disagree that the songs all sound the same, let me explain why I have such an appreciation for this album.
I think as audience members and consumers we forget how easy it is for celebrities who grow up in the spotlight to fall into very dark places. We see celebrities as invincible and diminish their issues because they have “fame and fortune,” which we see as the ultimate success. Mental health affects human beings’ period, celebrities included. We also know that creative people tend to have more mental health issues. Justin went through a lot of hardship and battled with his mental and physical health as well as some pretty serious substance abuse.
“Changes” is rooted in Justin’s newfound health and happiness, and personally, I find it beautiful to watch a person’s growth. It’s also interesting to watch someone find happiness and peace with their significant other, especially when we have seen their romantic life plastered all over the media and shown as so chaotic.
Everyone loved “Purpose” but Justin was in a very bad place during that time, and it is difficult for me to enjoy something I know is rooted in so much pain and destruction. When I listen to “Changes,” it feels good because we know that it was healing for him. I think that is the kind of music that is healing for everyone involved, even the listener.
As for the songs, though they have a similar feel, to me it feels more complimentary than identical. The songs flow well together, and they tell a story. Specifically, when you get deeper into the album with “Changes” and “At Least For Now,” there is a shift in the sound. Things are a lot more calm, serious, and seem to be about Justin reflecting on where he is now versus where he was at his worst during “Purpose” and the Purpose Tour.
Overall, I love this album and think it’s really cool to watch someone who started making music when he was so young and so different grow into an adult, married man who is truly finding himself.