Justin Bieber Gets By With a Little Help From His Friends on ‘Changes’

Justin Bieber Gets By With a Little Help From His Friends on ‘Changes’

Justin Bieber is back—have you heard? Changes, out today, is the former teen heartthrob’s first album in five years, plus one marriage and one ban from playing shows in China. Better yet: If you prefer to measure time visually, compare Bieber shirtless on the cover of Changes with Bieber shirtless on the cover of Purpose. Look at all the tattoos he’s added to his torso and his new icy haircut. Look at the way his shoulders are slumped over, carrying the weight of marital time and monkeyless adulthood! Changes? More like Changed.

Bieber, who is now 25, may have been through a lot these past five years (just watch his recent YouTube docu-series to see the full gamut), but musically, Changes is a return only in billing. In reality, Bieber has been oddly omnipresent in the time since Purpose, lending his voice to a steady stream of charting singles, including mega hits like the “Despacito” and “Bad Guy” remixes.

Lately, Bieber has developed a knack for providing a melodic flair on other artists’ songs. And Changes is at its best when he’s working in that mode. He teams up with the likes of Quavo, Post Malone, Travis Scott, Lil Dicky, and Kehlani. And though these collaborations more often find him at the center and other artists as the accent, the result is the same: those songs are hits.

When Bieber is with his friends, he utilizes hip-hop beats, sings quicker, and lightens up. Other artists’ verses bounce off his choruses easily, and vice versa. Bieber’s singing is easily recognizable, but he’s also an adept chameleon. When he joins forces with masters of hip-hop-adjacent melody like Quavo and Post Malone, Bieber matches their slippery flow. The best song on the album might be “Running Over,” Bieber’s team-up with the comedic rapper Lil Dicky. The simple “Wee-ooh, wee-ooh, ooh” sound effect Bieber makes with his voice is the sort of sticky, echo-filled note that makes the song hard to forget. And it sets Dicky up to come in with some funny lines to remember (“I got all up on your IG, and was scrollin’ down for hours / I got back to 2015 and you started lookin’ young so I stopped” or “I’ll flirt with you all cleverly / I’ll lock you down, Pat Beverley”).

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With company, Bieber can make a song feel like a party. “Forever,” which features Post Malone and Clever, and “Intentions,” which features Quavo, bring a festive energy to the love song. Alternatively, on “Get Me,” Bieber and Kehlani each keep their voices low, and turn out a steamy duet. Somehow, the songs that feature multiple artists are some of the album’s most intimate. Pop stars—and rappers in particular—have become more versatile in recent years, seamlessly singing their own choruses and changing up their flow. And yet, Bieber has remained a valuable asset. There’s the cache of his name, and there’s also the silkiness of his voice. A great box can always use a splashy ribbon.

Source : Max Cea Link

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