This is one of the defining releases of the 2010’s. It is also Justin Bieber’s best album, and everybody, including Bieber himself, knows this. Ironically, most people despise his music, but still, reviews are reviews, and this album is essential to pop history, therefore explaining its place on this review website.
It’s a halfway house option between his early teen pop material, which was limited in appeal, and his adult Christian based solo offerings, which lacked the substance of this album. Still, it’s a great listen compared to other more horrible contemporary music of the 2010’s, so let’s check this out.
We kick off with All Around The World. It has some great lyrics, singing and awesome sound effects. It’s a great semi EDM tune, and definitely worth listening to. “All around the world, people want to be loved…All around the world, they’re no different than us.” It breaks down into a semi-dubstep groove in between the chorus and verses. It features a good rap section from Ludacris, a nice effort here.
The next piece, Boyfriend, is a catchy pop song. It sounds like that Justin Bieber was already doing something strong, although perhaps not publicly at this point. It’s a very short and catchy pop piece which would make great karaoke for young people. Good stuff. The lyrics go from excellent to awful, but it was a definite hit at the time of release.
As Long As You Love Me features Big Sean, which is a nice cameo appearance. It’s another radio friendly piece, and the chorus is really awful. But the rest of the song is pretty decent, and it is still memorable listening. It is more texture than substance, but it does kick ass anyway.
Catching Feelings is a rather nice acoustic and romantic piece. It’s another mushy pop piece about being together and in love. It beats anything on the awful Purpose that followed. Maybe Justin Bieber was better at this point than he realised later on? Whatever the answer may be, it sounds soothing here.
The next song, Take You, is dedicated to treating a girl right. It sounds pretty catchy, especially the chorus. It’s a good and listenable piece that is very dance-able. There is a nice variation on the melodies followed here, and is very effective. It’s a nice tune for those who go to the club regularly, provided you are the designated driver there.
The futuristic sounding Right Here is another poppy piece, perhaps a little weaker. But it flows nicely along with the rest of the album. Drake appears here, another big name guest. Still, despite this music being aimed squarely at late teen girls, it is rather good to hear.
Fall is one of the sweetest songs you will ever hear from Justin Bieber. It’s about rescuing a girl from a bad emotional situation and the stresses involved. It’s a nice sentiment, even though its not exactly the best song on this album. Indeed, Justin Bieber’s relationship with Selena Gomez was well publicised, and this may have been devoted to her specifically.
Die In Your Arms is more of the same, but sounds a lot weaker. This time, it’s Justin Bieber who needs saving instead of his lover. But still, it’s nothing that special, although Bieber sings from a very deep place. Love is one emotion that Justin Bieber frequently struggled with after this, leading onto him discovering Christianity later on.
The catchy but annoying Thought Of You is a bit better, but the album seems to slow down at this point. Unfortunately despite this album being good in terms of sonic palette, the songs are not that consistent around this point of the album. However, most modern music is rather like this, it’s not exactly The Beatles in the 1960’s anymore, is it? Still, it’s listenable.
The next piece, Beauty and a Beat, is slightly better. Featuring Nicki Minaj, another contemporary act, it has some more memorable lyrics, “We’re gonna party like it’s 3012 tonight, I wanna show you all the finer things in life…” Some trippy electronic musical textures are present here, which make it better than expected. A better piece, and the guest appearance is okay.
One Love is a more interesting pop piece, which starts slow, but the chorus has some semi-rapped rapid fire lyrics which make this memorable. But it makes sense – Justin Bieber only needs one lover in life to make himself happy. Sadly, it was not a happy experience between himself and Selena Gomez, who divorced fairly quickly. But this song is a reminder of happier days from Bieber himself.
Be Alright is a more traditional musical piece with acoustic guitar. Justin Bieber does extremely well here, having done this before and since. However, his voice fits perfectly with the music at hand here, and yes, we need more pieces of music like this from Justin Bieber. It’s a very good listen.
The title track Believe is a glimpse into the future for Justin Bieber. It’s him getting ready for his belief in Jesus and Christianity, which only came later on after some rather nasty life experiences for him. Although it’s more about relationship based love, the gospel backing vocals may indicate otherwise. It’s a decent listen though. The piano here is quite beautiful too.
The following song, Out Of Town Girl is very EDM like but is very much super catchy. The repeated melody during the chorus is very easy to get stuck inside one’s head. It’s a great mash up of singing and melodies, nice job here. It’s definitely memorable listening.
She Don’t Like The Lights has (depending on your view) a catchy/annoying camera cycle looped section at the start, somewhat reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s Money. It then goes into the story of Justin Bieber’s lover avoiding the limelight, and for good reason. It’s only okay, but at least it is short.
Maria is a personal story about a stalker Justin Bieber had. It’s a basic but politely worded, “Stuff you”, to a said stalker. Undeniably, the paparazzi are relentless towards pop stars, and this was noted more deeply on the next album, Purpose. “She was dragging my name through the dirt…” It’s Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean but in a real life situation.
We finish with Fairytale, which is by far the weakest song here. But hey, it’s still listenable. We finish the album here, with a guest appearance from Jaden.
Surprisingly, this album, not only sounds quite good, but shows the world was Justin Bieber was truly capable of. Sadly, Justin Bieber has been in a downward spiral since, first on a personal level, then on a musical one. It’s best to think of him by this recording, which is definitely listenable.