Much like ending a show in Oslo after one song because someone in the first row had accidentally spilled water onto the stage, Purpose is another addition to the “stunts” in his ever-expanding, “I fucked up, but I’m sorry,” catalog. It’s the story of young pop star turned disappointment; a young hopeful in the wake of Michael Jackson’s passing, ruined by attitude, thrust to fame, a lack of depth, and an ever-downward sloping loss of dignity matched with the continual stream of public apologies.
Justin Bieber is like that kid in your classes in college who actively seems like he’s trying to fail but somehow always ends up passing anyway, while simultaneously landing the best internships. You hate him because he’s popular when he shouldn’t be, and he’s successful, when in all honesty, he shouldn’t be. When struggling artists making real innovative and thought-provoking music have to work their asses off just to compete with a teenage mega-pop star who continually does everything he can to fuck up what he’s acquired, the pedestal we keep giving him, yet somehow still ends up standing on top of said undeserving platform at the end of each day, like nothing’s ever changed, how does Purpose become his sixth number-one charting album on Billboard?
And it’s not that I hate pop music, though it’s true that I don’t enjoy most, but I’d still dislike it even if the Weeknd put it out instead of Bieber. Not everyone in the pop music industry is as genuine or just an all around good person like say, Taylor Swift, in fact, there are tons of attitudes and bad behavior in the music industry. We never doubted that Bieber couldn’t make pop music, it was just that, or at least I thought, we gave up on him as a role model, and saw him as just another kid turned star under the spotlight too quickly, who couldn’t handle the pressure and lifestyle. He turned into someone who winks at the deposition camera, and it was all around disgusting.
This isn’t just a vendetta on Bieber however, it’s also a vendetta on people that never learn from their mistakes. I’m not saying that I need more from him than a speech at a Comedy Central Roast, some celebrity endorsements, a music awards performance, or an album called Purpose that dilutes his “apologies” under heavily crafted and contrived pop jingles with elementary class-room like synths or piano/guitar ballads, I’m just saying that, in all honesty, he doesn’t even deserve it anymore. The album opener, “Mark My Words,” is some Timberlake-like background vocal brilliance distorted by his child-like nasally tone, wasted on an intro track that doesn’t go anywhere and doesn’t do anything than set up the plot for an album of contrived apologies begging for our “forgiveness” because he’s “hurting so much,” permeating through every track. It might be just enough misdirection for his die-hard fan base who couldn’t care how he acts outside the music, but the whole, “this life’s not easy, I’m trying my best” get-up seems too easily and publicly accepted. Either way it doesn’t matter for me, I don’t even like the music.