Justin Bieber has a critically acclaimed new album and singles topping the charts, but he is back on the new music grind.
On Monday, the superstar shocked and delighted fans by sharing three snippets of the same track on Instagram. The 21-year-old isn’t seen in the studio-set videos, but his smooth, breathy vocals are heard on playback.
Bieber’s surprise is the second tease of new music from the Canadian besides his Purpose releases. The singer also dropped a pop/R&B track titled “I’ll Be There” at his YouTube account last week, which is said to be a song that didn’t make the cut for Purpose. The track was later removed on copyright grounds.
First impression of the latest snippet? The mid-tempo wouldn’t be out of place on the deluxe edition of Bieber’s Purpose LP. The track is suffused with a mellow, R&B-leaning flavor, brought to life by rhythmic guitar and a lean, syncopated beat. Lyrically, the terrain is introspective and autobiographical, including big themes such as God, life lessons, and transformation.
So, to the new song. As yet, the title isn’t known. Nor is there any word on what it’s not known what stage the track is at production-wise, although it’s known that the producer Julian Swirsky, who also worked on Bieber 2013 Journals album, is involved.
“Open your mind/ Wider than the ocean / Life is but a moment / And every single time you want to give up / Hold on tight to what you love and don’t let go,” Bieber sings in the first clip.
However, in the snippets that followed, it becomes clear the “Sorry” singer he is talking about something bigger than hormonal or romantic love.
In the next video, Justin sings of the healing power of redemption, “And every single time you want to pray / Pray for your trouble / Take a breath / Every step / Let it wash away / Oh wash away.”
And it’s in the last clip that the Biebs opens up about becoming disillusioned and also damaged after entering the music industry “game” as a teen, before describing the process of changing through faith and learning lessons to find his own identity.
“21-years-ago / It’s never ever been the same / I know in life I never wanted to play the game,” he admits.
A reference to Justin’s longstanding music hero — the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson — comes in the next lengthy line.
“I’m not the same as Michael even though he hall of fame / I’m all hall of faith / put me on the wall of change,” Bieber sings, adding, “Got a couple of things I learned along the way / figured out how to mean what I say / I just got to be me.”
It’s not hard to see condensed fragments of the star’s many interviews during 2015 in his philosophical song snippet. In those profiles, Bieber revealed fame and other factors brought him to a place where he felt it could “completely destroy me” and sought the help of two pastors that he knew to re-connect him to his Christian faith.
GQ magazine previously revealed the singer was baptized in the bathtub of former Knicks center, Tyson Chandler, amid the Biebs’ difficult year-and-a-half, so these new teasers show the Biebs reflecting on his personal journey.
The site reveals Bieber concerts will showcase an “intense visual display that uses clouds and storms as a metaphor for the mistakes he’s made along the way… all as Justin falls from the sky,” and cover subjects such as being targeted by the media, former girlfriends, and rising from his fall.
Apparently, the working concept of the opening part of the show will feature images of the young singer falling through a “dark, clouded atmosphere” on a large projection screen. Further drama may be added with the sound of Justin “screaming, reaching and possibly passing through barriers as he descends into the dark unknown.”
In addition, a playback of Justin describing his missteps and journey may segue into some representation of the singer having an epiphany, “which reverses his trajectory and he flies gracefully and slowly toward the heavens,” before making his entrance.
[Images via AKM-GSI]