Justice

by Justin Bieber

Released March 19, 2021 via Def Jam / RBMG / SB Projects / Schoolboy Records

Reviewed April 1, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Peaches (76%), Hold On (29%), Lonely (29%)

Once you look past the ill-fitting and downright confusing inclusion of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches, Justin Bieber’s Justice is a welcome effort from one of the world’s biggest pop stars. Musically, Justice shifts more toward a traditional pop sound while still retaining some of the R&B flavor he toyed with on Changes. With this somewhat soulful take on dance pop, Justice offers up a collection of simplistic, catchy tracks that mostly get the job done. Bieber doesn’t manage to incorporate any themes of justice, but his songwriting is still admirable, as he crafts sincere and relatable love songs intertwined with personal anecdotes about his own mental health struggles. – Dominick (7/10)

A follow-up seemed like it couldn’t come soon enough to reset the palate after a generally cringey output on 2020’s Changes. While Justice eliminates a considerably forced “sex appeal” image that Justin Bieber demonstrated last year, it supplements it with disappointingly dull records. The tracklist isn’t unlistenable by any means, but it’s still miles away from the danceability and energy we know Bieber is capable of, indicated on the 2015 album Purpose. While Daniel Caesar, Dominic Fike, BEAM, Burna Boy, Giveon, and benny blanco all appear to be more artistically intriguing guest appearances than Bieber’s typical megastar pals, most of their presences are simply plug and play performances to the average Justin Bieber song and aren’t allowed the space to expand the track into anything memorable. Overall, Bieber is circling back in the right direction after Changes, but his well of potential still feels relatively untapped. – Pax (6.5/10)

Justice is a major improvement over Changes, but it’s not enough to keep Bieber ahead of the pack. He’s a lot more ambitious on here than he’s ever been, trying his hand in styles like afrobeat, synthpop, gospel, and more traditional R&B. And the attempts aren’t futile either, as all of the best tracks are ones where he switches things up. And the features are well-chosen, with Giveon, Burna Boy, and BEAM delivering the best features on a Justin Bieber album since Journals, but it ends up being a double-edged sword. Justin just can’t seem to keep up with a lot of these features and they end up overtaking him. It’s a clear step-up over Changes, but “better than the worst album of 2020” isn’t something one should strive for. Based off this album, it is unlikely the quality of his music ever reaches the levels that it did on Journals and Purpose. – Alan (6/10)


Dominick: 7/10 | Pax: 6.5/10 | Alan: 6/10

DeVán: 6/10 | Hadley: 4/10 | Cam: 2.8/10