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Justin Bieber is growing up and ‘Purpose’ is the proof

Justin Bieber has had a turbulent few years. After a string of arrests and legal issues to a public up-and-down relationship with fellow singer Selena Gomez, the pop star was shunned from the public eye for months due to his actions in the spotlight. However, after a number of public apologies and the release of the first few singles from his first album in three years, Bieber’s career is making a comeback.

Bieber released his fourth studio album, “Purpose,” marking the official return of the international superstar, as well as the return of a more level-headed, career-driven Bieber. With a more R&B sound and several collaborations with other major names in the industry, “Purpose” is proof that the Canadian native is here to stay for good.

The opening track, “Mark My Words,” was inspired by Bieber’s first love, Gomez. A slower take on his typical love-driven track as heard on previous albums like “Believe,” the song includes lyrics such as “you’re the only reason why I don’t want to live a lie,” showing a different side of Bieber — a side that reveals a more intimate look into the star’s personal life. A strong beginning to the album, the song demonstrates that Bieber is willing to change for Gomez and for his critics.

Two other songs were also inspired by Gomez: “What Do You Mean?” and “Sorry.” Serving as the lead single off of the album, WDYM was heavily promoted, and the anticipation leading up to its release was well deserved. Utterly catchy with a tropical vibe and the sound of a ticking clock, the single explores Bieber’s constant confusion about girls and his impatience for an apparently indecisive girlfriend. Despite its meaning, the song is delightful and demonstrates Bieber’s vocals.

“Sorry,” the fourth track off the album, is perhaps one of the best songs on the record. With an infectious beat and lyrics that anyone can relate to, this song explores Bieber’s desire to make it up to (you guessed it) Gomez and possibly even his fans. “I know that you know that I made those mistakes maybe once or twice / by ‘once or twice,’ I mean maybe a couple of hundred times,” is a lyric with a double meaning. Bieber is apologizing to not only his ex but also those he might have let down during his whirlwind of trouble.

The first collaboration on the record, “No Pressure” with rapper Big Sean, is one of the songs that solidifies Bieber’s 360 from pop singer to newly initiated R&B crooner. An interesting storyline, the song details a possible relationship for the 21-year-old and his reassurance that he’ll still be there for this mystery girl when she finally makes up her mind. With a more sultry tone than previous songs, this track proves that Bieber has grown out of his adolescent phase and is ready to continue to mold a new, more mature sound for himself.

In true Bieber fashion, the album includes several love songs, such as the bubbly “Company”; “Been You,” which is reminiscent of the old Bieber in its pop sound; and “Get Used To It,” which could easily be heard at a dance party.

The record also features several slower songs, which were previously only found on acoustic versions of Bieber’s albums. The title track, “Purpose,” shows a deeper side to the singer. With lyrics such as, “Ask you to forgive me for my sins, oh, would you please?” Bieber is shedding a light on his regrets, asking God and his fans to forgive him for his wrongs.

The hidden gem of the album is the last track, the acoustic version of WDYM. Simple and clean cut, the song is proof itself that stripped of the electronics, Bieber truly is talented, and he’s here to stay.

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