Fans waited three years for Justin Bieber to come out with another official album, and Purpose finally arrived on Friday (Nov. 13). It has everything from a heartfelt ballad about faith to a feature from Nas to production from king of the DJs, Skrillex. So, we passed Purpose around the office and picked out our favorite moments. Take a listen below and see what we think:
"Purpose is exactly what I expected this album would be, and that’s a good thing."
1. "The Feeling": Halsey carries ‘The Feeling’, and I love the blend of their atmospheric voices and drums. It’s the perfect song to blast when going on a long drive, and it has a message I think almost everyone can relate to.
2. "Sorry": Arguably the anthem of Bieber’s comeback tour leading up to the release of this album, ‘Sorry’ has me feeling both a little sympathetic for the Biebs, but also makes me want to sit by a pool with a drink in my hand; it’s the ideal combination.
Song That Made You Feel The Most: "Love Yourself" gave me the most feels, but it’s probably because I’m a sucker for Ed Sheeran songs.
Best Feature: Halsey has the best true feature on the album. If Skrillex counts as a feature, then he has my vote.
Overall Takeaway: Purpose is exactly what I expected this album would be, and that’s a good thing. The songs Skrillex blessed with his production are definitely the strongest, and those tracks mixed with stripped down songs like "Love Yourself," "Life Is Worth Living," and "Purpose" truly round out the album. I give Bieber a B+. -- Stacey Sommer
"I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty much obsessed with this ['Love Yourself']"
1. “The Feeling”: “The Feeling” makes you well, feel. It's haunting, hypnotic and cinematic. Plus, Halsey, with her alternative edge, helps bring this song to a whole new level as their voices complement each other perfectly.
2. “Sorry”: While we’ve been listening to this song for weeks, you can’t deny that it’s a great track. Skrillex, who produced the track, seems to bring out the best in Justin as he smoothly navigates over the tropical EDM beat.
3. “Love Yourself”: I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty much obsessed with this song. I’ve listened to it no less than 100 times since its release. Although it’s simple, and definitely sounds like an Ed Sheeran song, since he co-wrote it, the lyrics are what stand out the most -- they are honest, at times humorous and can be pretty harsh.
Song That Made You Feel The Most: “Purpose”: Being the title track of the album, it’s not too surprising that it’s the most emotional. It tells the story of Justin’s struggle, and how his renewed relationship with God has given him purpose. Justin has made it no secret that his faith plays an important part in his life, so it’s no surprise he turned it into his song. I’m still a bit on the fence about the spoken word outro, but I know why it was necessary as he has recognized his mistakes and is ready to move forward.
Best Feature: The best feature on this album has to go to Halsey (sorry Big Sean, even thought I appreciated the “Empire” reference on “No Pressure”). It was a collaboration that many weren’t expecting, but after listening, it made total sense. It introduces Halsey to a whole new audience and she certainly silenced all those that think she “sold out” collaborating with Bieber.
Overall Takeaway: We had to wait three years for Bieber’s return, but it was worth it. He’s delivered an album filled with a ton of potential hits, but more importantly, it’s bold and honest. He looks back at his mistakes, but is pushing forward and reminding us why we first fell in love with him in the first place: the music. -- Christina Garibaldi
"['Sorry'] is like a lil' treasure chest of a song."
1. "Sorry": I almost love "Sorry" solely the production and instrumentation -- the crackling vinyl, the somber piano chords, the wood block, the Caribbean beat, the weird trumpet thing. There's a lot going on here, and I find something new every time I listen to it. It's like a lil' treasure chest of a song.
2. "Where Are U Now" - I will forever love Bieber's comeback track, and I'm glad it made it to Purpose despite already appearing on the Jack U project. "Where Are U Now" finally gave us a glimpse into the "real Bieber" with his sweet, soft vocals, while Skrillex and Diplo proved that, yes, Bieber can be on a dance track.
Song That Made You Feel The Most: "Purpose" definitely had me sympathizing for Bieber. The spoken-word outro really humanizes him as he discusses his mistakes: "You're trying to be the best you can be but that's all you can do." And even though he says "sorry" over and over again on this record, he recognizes that he can't beat himself up over what happened in the past.
Best Feature: "No Pressure" sounded like an old Chris Brown track or a modernized Usher song, but Big Sean -- who featured on "As Long As You Love Me" in 2012 -- gave it even more texture.
Overall Takeaway: I expected so much from this album because of the hype, and it delivered. Even with heartfelt ballads, dance jams and a little of the old R&B stuff, Purpose felt cohesive. Who knows what he'll do next! -- Emilee Lindner
"'Purpose' is as raw as it gets."
1. “No Pressure”: The blend of high acoustic hooks and subby basslines bring out Bieber’s most seductive sonics, and Big Sean’s controlled flow makes this rap verse fire in the most tamed way. In a Bieber world that tends to lean entirely pop or entirely hip hop, channeling a Justin Timberlake-esque blend proves to be worthwhile.
2. “Children”: The lyrics are a tad too cheesy to win poetry awards, but the vocal filtering and abstract audio samples wandering in the background make this EDM track jam-worthy and sonically creative — a quality frequently lost in today’s radio hits. Another thumbs up goes to the new Skrillex and Bieber duo.
Song That Made You Feel The Most: “Purpose” is as raw as it gets, pitted against record’s other tracks. The lyrics narrate the core of Bieber’s many struggles seen through the eyes of the media, and the highly unscripted audio samples are pure emotional injections, making it difficult to avoid an overwhelming level of sympathy.
Best Feature: Halsey’s light falsetto touches and whispered vocals embody everything about the delicate conflict that is “The Feeling.”
Overall Takeaway: Bieber uses Purpose to mend his publicly advertised mistakes and to make himself vulnerable -- and it works. And while Purpose leaves us more than satiated, it still leaves us curious to hear what Bieber will throw us next time, now that we know the pop star can go above and beyond his own goals and our expectations. -- Greg Hicks