It was only earlier this year that Justin Bieber released his highly anticipated fifth studio album ‘Changes’. After being met with unfavourable reactions, and having to downsize from stadiums to arenas on his upcoming tour, he reentered the studio during lockdown to try reclaim his throne that was ready for habitation.
‘Holy’ is the beginning of a new chapter for the singer-songwriter, and hears him steering towards a more pop directed sound again while intertwining a gospel inspired foundation. It has this uplifting and hopeful feel to it that makes you want to uncontrollably smile while listening to it. But what it’s lacking is memorability. While you enjoy listening to it in the moment, it’s not one that you walk away thoroughly remembering or purposefully wanting to replay.
Reflecting on the power of love and the prescriptions that come from religion and outsiders, it’s all about defying against all the odds. But it’s a little too surface level with no real further depth to the concept. “I hear a lot about sinners. Don’t think that I’ll be a saint. But I might go down to the river” he sings during the first verse before singing in the chorus; “The way you hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me. Feels so holy, holy, holy, holy, holy”.
‘Holy’ is definitely better than every song on ‘Changes’ combined, but it lacks creating the same firework magic that ‘Purpose’ delivered.