Justin Bieber has teased “I’ll Show You” as the third single from his highly anticipated Purpose album.
Credited to Bieber, longtime engineer Josh Gudwin, producers Skrillex, Blood (Mike Tucker), and Theron “Neff U” Feemster, rumors that the song would be released at midnight on Sunday (November 1), with a full music video dropping on VEVO on Monday, raced around the Internet all weekend.
Update: The music video dropped on Monday.
Earlier Sunday, the 21-year-old superstar shared what seem to be two music video snippets for the song to Twitter, also posting one of these to his Instagram. The panoramic footage shown was shot in Iceland by videographer Rory Kramer, when he joined the singer and the famed landscape photographer, Chris Burkard (who helped out with locations), on a “spur of the moment trip” in September in between promo tour stops, as Kramer revealed on Instagram.
“Today. #IllShowYou #PURPOSE,” Justin captioned the first clip he tweeted. The video shows the Biebs — who scarcely faces the camera — walking, sitting, and jumping off a cliff, skateboarding on a road and on the wreck of an old airplane, staring at a stunning waterfall, walking in a lush field, splashing his face in a lake, covering his face with his hands, and we also get aerial views of sea and land.
Lyrics in both clips repeat the “I’ll Show You” song title over a haunting chorus with a progressive EDM-Pop-R&B beat and emotive high synth sonics, all of which is hard to describe as one genre. It’s fluid, new, and sounds powerful yet moving.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) November 1, 2015
Justin attached the Purpose iTunes link to the second clip he tweeted, captioning his Instagram video with more or less the same note.
These teases followed previous unofficial leaks this weekend. On Sunday, an audio snippet of “I’ll Show You” was posted to SoundCloud (see below) by a random user on Sunday. Naturally, it was deleted. But rips were made.
i'm so into this pic.twitter.com/ebUHWWRG5l
— jordan (@biebsuschrist) November 1, 2015
Two unofficial video snippets also popped up online Saturday, some scenes of which are different to the visual shared by the Biebs. Although these clips set off excitement among Justin Bieber fans, the Inquisitr will not be posting the snippets, as they are not cleared.
Following the leaks, Justin tweeted “More Sunday” yesterday, also including a link to the iTunes pre-order of the album. Fans quickly noticed that the song time for “I’ll Show You” is now visible, as it is against the listings of the already released “Sorry” and “What Do You Mean?”
As is clear from the previews, “I’ll Show You” sounds nothing like the big production numbers “Mean” and “Sorry.” Instead, it’s an atmospheric, rolling slow-paced soliloquy of a song that finds the Biebs in reflective mode.
Update: Justin begins in the first verse, “My life is a movie, and everyone’s watching / So, let’s get to the good part / And past all the nonsense.”
Bridge: Sometimes it’s hard to do the right thing / When the pressure’s coming down like lightning / It’s like they want me to be perfect / when they don’t even know that I’m hurting.”
Building into the chorus, it’s raw JB, singing, “This life’s not easy / I’m not made out of steel / Don’t forget that I’m human /Don’t forget that I’m real / You act like you know me / But you never will /But there’s one thing that I know for sure / I’ll show you [repeated].”
[Additional lyrics and structure from Genius. If anything changes, we’ll update.]
If these lyrics are understood, as they should be, within the context of the life of one of the most bullied, misgendered, and disproportionately criticized music artists in recent history, as the words of someone who wants — and needs — to be heard on his own terms, without the inevitably misleading caricaturing he gets in the press.
A case in point: the widespread lack of sympathy and double standards treatment Bieber received in the press and elsewhere, after a paparazzo grossly violated the singer’s privacy by taking nude photos of him without his knowledge or consent. The New York Daily News, and whoever leaked uncensored nude shots of Bieber, as well as those who passed them on, colluded in that violation.
More recently, the majority of the media’s hyper-critical take on Bieber’s walk out from a Spanish radio interview, in which the hosts sprang a self-interested publicity grab on the singer at the end, and a show in Norway during which fans hampered Bieber’s clearing up of a water safety hazard, contrasted with the far more honest appraisals at MoviePilot, Teen Vogue, VH1, and the Huffington Post.
— Teen Vogue (@TeenVogue) October 30, 2015
— VH1 Music (@VH1Music) October 31, 2015
“I’ll Show You” is likely to be seen as the most mature, sensitive, and revealing music offering from the Bieber in his career to date. As described by the U.K.’s the Telegraph magazine in their recent sit-down with him, much of Purpose is reportedly “reflective, quiet,” and “thoughtful.”
Journalist Craig McLean writes that the five songs he previewed don’t “foretell an album hooked around the machine-tooled, songwriting-by-committee ultra-pop that is the default modern setting for everyone from Taylor Swift to the Weeknd.” McLean continues, “The core of his [Bieber’s] comeback album is a fist of songs of regret and apology. He has, they suggest, learned his lesson.”
During their meet-up earlier this month in Los Angeles, Bieber told the magazine his upcoming album “is what I want to portray, this is who I am, this is what I want to put out, rather than be like, ‘Guys, just write hits for me.’ “
The Biebs explained, “It’s important to be vulnerable, and be honest. I’m a real artist, and I wanted to be authentic.”
— Telegraph Magazine (@TelegraphMag) October 30, 2015
In the same interview, the young star summed up where he was at during his turbulent 2013-14 days as compared to now.
“I got so involved in ‘me me me,’ ” the singer recalled. “Because you’re young and people are telling you you’re great all the time. And you start believing it. So, I started believing the hype and acting a certain way, and not trusting people because they broke my trust in the past.”
Justin went on, “There’s so much I need to work on. And I’m still getting days where I’m depressed and upset. But I know that I’m not where I used to be. So that really keeps me motivated,” adding, “I’m not where I wanna be — but at least I’m not where I used to be.”
In other words, Justin Bieber is a work in progress. Aren’t we all? But let’s not forget how far he’s come, and buy into the current overkill of two recent snafus. Especially when he’s expected to roll with it when outrageous things are done to him.
[Images via Rory Kramer / Stefan Ruiz]