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Album Review: Justin Bieber, ‘Purpose: the Movement’.

I’m “Sorry”, but this album is genius.

Throughout his career within the music industry Justin Bieber has received almost as much criticism as he has praise, but could his fourth studio album ‘Purpose’ change the UK’s collective attitude to the star?

It seems so, as ‘Purpose’ currently sits at number one in the UK album charts and with the first single release What Do You Mean also topping the singles charts, a first for the Canadian singer, things are looking positive for Mr. Bieber.

‘Purpose: The Movement’ is a series of dance videos accompanying each song on Bieber’s album ‘Purpose’. The individual videos within the collection were released every hour on the hour, on the 14th of November, in promotion of the album. The songs vary in style from acoustic to dance tracks, as do the videos.

Sorry is the second single from the album and has received a very positive reception from the UK music market. The genre is described as tropical house, which seems perfect for its poppy beat and dance-inducing chorus.

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Bieber does not feature in the video, however the talented young women who do set the standard high for the rest of Bieber’s dance videos in ‘Purpose: The Movement’.

I’ll Show You is the third single release from the album, and follows Sorry excellently in that, it has the opposite atmosphere to the upbeat dance track, yet is very similar in choreography. The dancers are all male and all have a very gritty aura about them. If nothing else this video is excellently choreographed, with very talented young men at the forefront.

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Love Yourself is an acoustic song co-written with Ed Sheeran; his distinctive voice accompanies Biebers soft tones with a guitar in gorgeous harmony. The lyrics include: ‘my mama don’t like you and she likes everyone’ and ‘if you like the way you look that much then you should go and love yourself’. It seems to be a dig at an ex, yet it is difficult to tell whether his heart is still in it or not. A very puzzling song but, yet again, an excellent accompanying music video; featuring a male and female dancer telling a story through interpretive dance, the beautiful choreography matches the lyrics and vibe of the song perfectly.

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Children is another upbeat song from the album, capturing problems facing ‘the generation’. The song starts slow but with an electronic sound, which gradually builds tempo to be one of the best dance tracks on the album. The issue is that the song is only 1:57, which only allows for one dance drop in the song. It also ends very abruptly leaving the audience slightly puzzled.

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The video adds to the confusion, beginning with a group of children, funnily enough, staring at a video of a malnourished child in Africa, from which they run away screaming into a jungle. They then come to a clearing and run to the centre, a la hunger games, and perform a dance very similar to the Haka. A girl then sits on the floor and very dramatically cries. These kids can dance, and very well. However, they cannot act. This song has excellent potential for a remix to elongate the dance beat, and could become another club hit for Bieber if done correctly.

The inspiration behind Children is clearly the image of the malnourished child at the start. Before making a comeback to the music industry it is a little known fact that Bieber contributed to charity work in the developing world. If anything Bieber is a reformed character and the squeaky sound of 2010’s Baby is a distant memory.

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Justin Bieber has an excellent new sound that is undeniably catchy, whether you like the singer or not it is almost impossible to listen to the album without hearing a song or beat that will stick in your mind. Whatever Biebers doing with his sound, he’s doing it right, and the UK like it.

 

By Polly Johns

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