For my first review of popular music releases in 2020 I thought I’d deposit this large vat of crap over your heads. This is the fifth album from Canada’s androgynous, tattooed bratlette — purveyor of corporate trap dross to the world’s pre-pubescent thots, skanks and wannabe hos. Trouble is, even for the dumbest of the world’s unter-mädchens, Bieber’s schtick has long since worn a little thin.
So his new album is called Changes, which is the only echo of David Bowie you will find within. But as Justin puts it on the title track: ‘Tho I’m goin thru changes, don’t mean that I’ll change.’ No indeed, well put. The only change I can find is that the lyrics are even more stupid and the music ever more anodyne.
He has turned to a particularly vapid low-energy R&B, supposedly enhanced by collaborations with biz people who, in all honesty, aren’t really that cool. The tunes are sub-nursery rhyme, the lyrics self-regarding gibberish. ‘Do me like you miss me even tho you bin wid me’ is one of the highlights. Unless you prefer the lead single’s musings on what constitutes the apogee of good taste: ‘Yeah, you got that yummy, yum, that yummy, yum.’
There is a momentary frisson of pleasure in the jazz guitar intro to ‘ETA’ — in which Justin wishes to ascertain from his partner the precise time at which she is arriving, presumably so he can have supper ready — but it is soon straitjacketed into dancey MOR hell. The rancid castrati meanderings of a long-spent wankpuffin. That is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know.