Flashback to 2013.
Justin Bieber was the talk of the town. He was still harbouring the success of previous album ‘Believe’ (2012) in which he collaborated with various big names in the industry, instantly hitting number one on the US Billboard charts. However, away from his musical success, the singer was reaching an all time low. His very own Britney moment.
Bieber’s reputation was reminiscent of pure dirt. He was arrested, sued and charged for assault, accused of spitting on fans, caught drink driving, abusing drugs, you name it. The whole thing was pretty ugly to watch yet despite this hard time, the singer released what I feel to be some of his best work to date.
Although not technically an album, ‘Journals’ is a collective of records which are surprisingly mature, laid back and even sullen, completely unlike anything previously released. Granted, there are a few, let’s say… ‘questionable’ pieces included in the collection like ‘Backpack’ which I’m sure the majority of us, and probably Bieber himself, would like to forget exists.
Critiques aside, to release such a dignified and grown up record like this among such controversy and obvious struggles with his quick-earned fame is something that I respect highly. If desperate times call for desperate measures then ‘Journals’ is saturated in desperation. The kind of honourable desperation that has the potential to turn careers around.
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