Justin Bieber is just days away from releasing his fifth studio album, Changes. The project, which will officially arrive on February 14, will be the singer’s first full-length release in five years, following 2015’s Purpose.
Bieber has shared a few hints about what fans can expect from Changes. He has dropped three singles, including the most recent release, “Intentions” with Quavo, announced a Changes World Tour, and unveiled the full tracklist on social media. He’s also been opening up about his life over the past five years in a YouTube docuseries called Seasons. So, as we wait for Changes to arrive on Valentine’s Day, the Complex Music team outlined six things we want to hear from Justin Bieber on his 2020 comeback album.
Back in January, Justin Bieber announced that his forthcoming album Changes would not be a pop album. Instead, it would be an “R&Bieber” project (a phrase he’s also trying to trademark), which lead many fans to believe he would be coming out with music reminiscent of his 2013 era when he dropped the R&B project, Journals. Despite his announcement, JB’s first three singles aren’t exactly what some expected. His first single, “Yummy” and its follow up, “Get Me” featuring Kehlani ,are definitely R&B-leaning, but they didn’t have the crooning and overall soulful sensibilities that Justin has brought to his music in the past. And his most recent single, “Intentions” is more of a pop record than anything else. Although these singles didn’t meet the expectations of most R&B fans, we hope the album cuts will channel the Journals era and bring back peak R&Bieber. —Jessica McKinney
A return of The Audibles
Justin’s work with The Audibles can be traced back to the birth of R&Bieber. On Journals, the production duo earned credits on six of the album’s standouts, including “Hold Tight,” “Recovery,” and “Swap It Out.” Their production style is a calm mix of elegant and pensive, allowing Justin’s voice ample room to do its thing. On Beiber’s second R&B-leaning project, Purpose, The Audibles disappointedly only appeared on “No Pressure” featuring Big Sean. Now feels like the right time for a reunion. If Justin Beiber is fully committed to honing in on his R&B sound, we’d love to hear him lean on the producers who brought out the best in him musically. —Kemet High
Vulnerable and honest songs
Justin has been open about the creative process behind Changes. In an episode of his YouTube docuseries, Seasons, Justin revealed that Changes will be “different than the previous albums just because of where I’m at in my life. We all have different stories. I’m just excited to share mine.” In the docuseries, Bieber also discusses addiction, mental health issues, and his marriage to Hailey Bieber. We’d love to hear him bring that same vulnerability to his music. He’s has already confirmed that he’s working with longtime collaborator and esteemed songwriter Poobear on the album, so it would be great to see Bieber put some personal experiences—his marriage, past relationships, and struggles—on wax for the first time. If he does manage to create an honest album full of vulnerable songs, this could be Justin’s best era yet. Rolling Stone revealed thathe became teary-eyed during an early playback of the album, so this feels likely. —Jessica McKinney
While it doesn’t sound bad sonically, “Yummy” took a step backwards with its childish lyrics. Beiber has been making music for over a decade now, so the fact that he settled upon the repeated lyrics, “Yeah, you got that yummy-yum/That yummy-yum, that yummy-yummy” is puzzling. On Changes, we’d rather hear him singing more mature lyrics that match his age. Whatever zone he tapped into for his verse on Travis Scott’s “Maria I’m Drunk,” where he sings about sippin’ Don Julio and getting lap dances, is the same zone he needs to tap into for this album. His days of spiceless, G-rated music should be done. —Kemet High
The “Many Men” record
In October 2019, Justin Beiber teased an unreleased song where he flipped the chorus of 50 Cent’s “Many Men.” The clip also highlights a rap verse where he details the ups and downs of his life. It’s apparent more now than ever how far he’s come since his “Baby” days. “Took out the lambo/Man, this thing got handles/ One hand on the booty, this a damn scandal,” he raps. The last thing some hip-hop heads probably want to hear is Justin Beiber take 50 Cent’s gem, but considering the nature of song flips, it shouldn’t be assumed that he wouldn’t do the song justice. Any time a new artist can properly flip an old and do it properly, we’re interested in hearing it. —Kemet High
Another memorable Travis Scott collab
Last week, Justin unveiled the tracklist for Changes, and it includes guest appearances from a number of major artists, including Quavo, Post Malone, and Kehlani. But what we’re most excited to hear is his upcoming collaboration with Travis Scott, “Second Emotion.” Justin and Trav have previously collaborated on songs like “No Sense,” which appeared on 2015’s Purpose, as well as the previously-mentioned “Maria I’m Drunk.” Since those collaborations, Travis’ creativity and overall exposure have reached new heights, so it will be interesting to see how the duo tops their past collabs on “Second Emotion.” We’re here for it. —Jessica McKinney