As the album title denotes, Justin Bieber has been going through changes in his life. “Justin Bieber: Seasons,” a YouTube Original documentary series, follows the young artist’s timeline from after the release of Purpose (Deluxe) to before the drop of Changes, detailing the events that took place in-between.
Episode Five, “The Dark Season,” dives deep into Justin’s dirty, grimy drug addiction problem. As he explains, “I felt like I was dying. My security was coming into the room at night to check my pulse. People don’t know how serious it got. It was legit scary crazy. I was waking up in the morning and the first thing I was doing was popping pills and smoking a blunt and starting my day.” The episode also records his journey to mental sanity, from doctors pumping AD into his blood to reverse the brain damage done by drugs to locking himself inside a studio-bound oxygen chamber to relieve crippling anxiety.
Many of Justin Bieber’s changes over the past five years have been not only coming off the physical effects of drugs but also discovering why he took them in the first place. Speaking to the camera, Justin talks about how the music industry dangled various pleasures in his face, promising they would bring him happiness. Hailey Bieber makes the comment that her husband was smoking weed and popping pills as a form of self-medication. Making a deal with God, Justin chose to do the work required to become healthy again if He would bring him back to sobriety. He tells the documentary that God had been faithful to deliver him from the chemical highs he had chased, but there was still much work to be done in terms of seeking the root of his problems.
Following these trials in his life, Justin Bieber’s new album, Changes, is a cry for unconditional love. The first song, “All Around Me,” begins the project with a powerful, moving post-chorus, where he sings that “our love is unconditional.” For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do them part, they will both stay together.
“Nothin’ like havin’ someone for you/Someone beside you when it’s time to lay down/Fully committed, you’re here for the stay down/Look in the mirror, you right for the takedown.”
Not only does Justin want his wife’s unconditional love, but he “needs her all around him.”
The project continues the theme of agape (unconditional love) going into the second song, “Habitual,” where it describes love as a process rather than a single event.
“My love for you’s habitual, yeah (Oh, yeah)/Not for a moment, but forever.”
The idea of committing oneself to their spouse for the rest of their lives may be an old-fashioned concept, but for Justin, it is what makes his love for his wife so special. Referencing the YouTube Original documentary series, Justin writes that Hailey and he were continuing to push through difficult circumstances in life and, by keeping their trust in God, were given a fresh way to see their lives.
“Just to think that we’ve been out here this whole time/Workin’ through the seasons/Never crossed paths ‘til we had a reason/Now let’s fast-forward, look up/A whole new perspective for life.”
Further along the album, “Changes” proves the unconditional love between Justin and Hailey Bieber by promising he will never change despite the various changes he is experiencing in his own life. He explains the lines, “Some days I wanna push further/Some days I wanna do nothin’” in “The Dark Season,” describing the kind of changes he went through.
“In the song, ‘Changes’, it actually talks about how some days we want to push further and some days we want to do nothing and that often comes with our mood and attitudes toward life and sometimes when life throws us things we can’t control.”
In the simple four-line chorus, followed by the soft strumming of the acoustic, he promises that he nor his undying love will ever be any different.
“I’m goin’ through changes/I’m goin’ through changes/Though I’m goin’ through changes/Don’t mean that I’ll change.”
The climax of unconditional love in Justin Bieber’s Changes is found, ultimately, in the artist’s agape relationship with God. Despite the ways he has rejected Christ and pushed Him away, He continues to stay by his side, teaching him the truest meaning of love.
“Ooh, and I can feel you/Even though I haven’t touched you/Yeah that’s what love is/That’s what true love is/Wouldn’t want nobody else by my side/Ooh, and you can trust me/After all the lies I told you/Yeah that’s what love is/That’s what true love is.”
Justin may “stay on the defensive to take away [God’s] leverage” when he was asked by God to spend time with Him, but eventually, Justin comes to appreciate the eternal point of view he receives by the end of the process. Because of these things, he “knows what true love is deep down in his soul, far more than anyone knows.”
Overall, Changes can be best described as a cry for unconditional love. Through the artist’s battle with drug addiction and fight to win his mental health, the presence and support of his wife, along with the agape love of Christ, allow him to overcome these challenges. No longer does his security team have to check his pulse in the middle of the night or does his doctor have to pump AD into his blood to reverse the brain damage done by drugs, but now he has found freedom from addiction along with an unbreakable bond with his wife, tested by fire. Justin Bieber may have gone through changes in his life, but it is clear that these changes, ultimately, have been for the better.