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Changes is Justin Bieber's fifth studio album which was released on February 14, 2020 by Def Jam Recordings and RBMG.

Album BackgroundEdit

At the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Justin Bieber joined American singer Ariana Grande on stage to perform his song "Sorry"; he then announced that an album was coming soon.

On October 27, 2019, Bieber announced that he would only drop his upcoming studio album before Christmas if his Instagram post reached 20 million likes.

However, the post failed to do so; it has since been deleted and the release was consequently postponed.

TracklistingEdit

  1. All Around Me
  2. Habitual
  3. Come Around Me
  4. Intentions (featuring Quavo)
  5. Yummy
  6. Available
  7. Forever (featuring Post Malone and Clever)
  8. Running Over (featuring Lil Dicky)
  9. Take It Out On Me
  10. Second Emotion (featuring Travis Scott)
  11. Get Me (featuring Kehlani)
  12. E.T.A.
  13. Changes
  14. Confirmation
  15. That's What Love Is
  16. At Least For Now

Chart PerformanceEdit

"Changes" debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with 231,000 album-equivalent units, (including 126,000 pure album sales in its first week), making it Justin Bieber's seventh number-one album in the United States. Bieber became the youngest soloist to have seven US number-one albums at the age of 25 (with the record being previously held by Elvis Presley at the age of 26).

During its second week, the album dropped to number four on the chart, earning an additional 66,000 units. In its third week, it dropped to number six on the chart, earning 62,000 units.

"Changes" also debuted atop the Canadian Albums Chart as well as the UK Albums Chart, where it became Bieber's second number-one album.

Critical ReceptionEdit

"Changes" was met with mixed reviews from music critics. Some praised the production and Bieber's vocal performance on the album, while some criticised its repetitive tone and lyrical content.

At Metacritic, the album received an average score of 57 (based on sixteen reviews) indicating "mixed or average reviews."

Writing for AllMusic, Andy Kellman gave the "R&B-pop" album an overall positive review, particularly commending Bieber's vocal skills, describing his falsetto pleas as "neither bitter nor entitled, strictly genuine and adult".

Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times defined the album as "a low-key set of gentle electro-R&B jams that depicts his relationship with Hailey Baldwin, as a refuge from the unkind world he's still not quite ready to reenter."

Noting the trap beats prevalent in the album, Wood commented that "the sprinkling of on-trend trap drums indicate he's [Bieber is] thinking about it, as do streaming-bait guest spots by Post Malone and Travis Scott."

Variety's Jeremy Helligar wrote that Bieber "never sounded better, or more in love, but the nonstop bedroom romanticism doesn't leave much room for exploring demons or expressing joy", expanding that Bieber's voice and the production are "flawless", and "his soul is in the right place", but there's "something airless about the album, too, like he could have left the window open a crack to let some sunshine in."

Helligar compared the sonic cohesiveness of "Changes" to that of Ariana Grande's album, "Thank U, Next."

Rating the album two stars, Rolling Stone's Brittany Spanos defined Changes as a "one-note toast to marital happiness" that is "sweet and tender, but ultimately shallow", stating that the tracks "are not bad, exactly, but they're almost universally forgettable, with little of the catchiness that's been Bieber's hallmark in the past".

Spanos called the album as the "honeymoon phase in R&Bieber form", thus "sweet, uncomplicated, and maybe just a bit hard to imagine lasting forever", with Bieber's "charming malleability as an artist" missing. She added that the album is devoid of the "dangerous eroticism" of Bieber's 2013 project, Journals.

Insider's Courteney Larocca and Callie Ahlgrim were favourable towards Bieber's "pristine" vocal performance, but dismissed the "subpar" lyrics, concluding Changes is "ultimately a snooze fest". They pointed out "Habitual" as "easily the best track" on the album, while "All Around Me" is "underwhelming" as the opening track.

Emma Garland of Vice commented: "Each track is built on a simple hook or a looping beat, in favour of subtle melodies and lots of repetition, that laid back pace gives his voice room to luxuriate, but the songs often fall flat", with "no tension, no build". She highlighted the "formulaic arrangements and wandering melodies", which struggle "to hit home in a major way", like his album, "Purpose" did.

In a two-star review, Roisin O'Connor of The Independent stated that Changes "isn't so much an album that would rile you to the point of turning it off. Rather, it washes over you, with its mostly average beats and seemingly random cluster of guest features", adding that it is "full of vague platitudes about love from a singer who has yet to grow up".

O'Connor concluded that Bieber "hasn't come all that far" since the days of "Baby", as "a number of songs about his new wife Hailey Baldwin are so uninspired that he may as well be declaring his love for a household appliance."

Rating the album two stars, Hannah Mylrea of NME wrote that Bieber's "limp comeback" results in a collection of "a knackering, loved-up slog lacking substance", that is "overly reliant on trendy production and profound(ish) romantic proclamations". She added that it is "a disappointing comeback from an artist who has a track record in creating hits", as it is "one romp that never reaches climax".

Evening Standard's David Smyth expressed his disappointment in the album's subject matter, but complimented its production, saying: "In fact, so single-minded is his [Bieber] approach this time that it feels like she's [Baldwin] his only intended audience", and thus Bieber's audience at his tour "are going to be underwhelmed by the unchanging, lounging pace of the new material, gently ticking beats and lack of memorable choruses."

Rating the album a 4.5 out of 10, Jayson Greene of Pitchfork wrote that "Changes settles into a middle-distance, stream-friendly murmur that is more sleepy than salacious", adding that its songs "are all cold angles and frictionless surfaces, devoid of intimacy and heat". He pointed out that "nearly every song on Changes resembles every other in tempo, arrangement, and often in lyrics, which seem to be sourced from the same 10 or 15 pastel candy hearts".

Writing for Clash, Nick Roseblade opined that the main problem with the album is that "it isn't exciting or dynamic and suffers from dragging in places", citing the "lack of variation" on the album, as a reason.

Nylon's Alim Kheraj wrote that "Changes" shows "how detached and uninterested" Bieber has become. He stated that the album emulates the early 2000s, but it "doesn't do so reverentially, nor does it borrow from a sonic palette to make it new again", resulting in an "uninspired and confused" record, that "lacks the emotional maturity" to translate Bieber's marriage.

He described Bieber's treatment of sex on the album is "instant, bountiful, in your face, but ultimately unrealistic and devoid of any eroticism" like pornography.

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