Confession: I think Justin Bieber's new music is legit. Sorry? What do you mean?
There is this deeply-engrained public stigma about liking Biebs. He's the kid that everyone loves to hate, and hates to love. Why? Something to do with his pubescent self-entitled antics (fronting like a baller, dripping in gold chains); drunken rants (and urinating in public); hooking up with Miranda Kerr (and the ensuing bar brawl with Orlando Bloom); the never-ending yo-yo relationship with Selena Gomez (take her back!); and, of course, his sugar-laced commercial pop — "Thought you'd always be mine, mine, mine." But heck, the kid was growing up in public. Who hasn't done a stupid thing or ten during their teenage years?
His new album, Purpose, however, is a revelation. Masterminded in collaboration with Skrillex and Diplo, it has the 21-year-old Canadian dancing to a different beat. Literally. And all for the better. It's so darn catchy and well produced, that it has turned this former Bieber basher into a born again Belieber. Kind of like Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, but instead of a blinding white light and a booming voice from heaven, it was pulsating lasers and this riff: "Where are you now that I need ya?"
So, how can you tell whether you have Bieber down in your heart? (Where? Down in your heart.) Here are 10 tell-tale signs.
10. When you watched Justin's carpool karaoke with James Corden And caught yourself singing and even, God forbid, bopping along. That, and also being super impressed that he can solve a Rubik's Cube in less than two minutes. Check it.
9. Where Are Ü Now is now your go-to pep up track At home. In the car. With your hands in the air like you just don't care.
8. You resisted at first, but you've downloaded his entire new album, Purpose Justification: It broke a 50-year-long Beatles record by having the most songs on the Billboard Hot 100 in a single week — The Biebs had 17 tracks (out of 18 songs available on his Deluxe Edition of Purpose) in the week of 5 December 2015, beating out The Beatles' previous record of 14 way back on 11 April 1964.
Reality: It's cheaper than buying each single one at a time. Which you know is inevitable given your recent Tay-Tay experience.
7. And you believe him when he says he's sorry (see what I did there?) For all the crap he did in the past. Which he explained on Ellen. Who subsequently had a week-long Justin Bieber special — a whole week, people. She's the modern day Oprah for crying out loud.
6. Naturally, when Justin returned for carpool karaoke part deux You watched. You liked. You shared it on your Facebook page and, taking it one step further, even posted it on the walls of closet Beliebers. You know who you are.
5. When Selena Gomez was performing at the recent AMAs And looked smoking in a mesh bodysuit, lyrically spitting, "I'm so sick of that same old love, feels like I'm blown apart. I'm so sick of that same old love, the kind that breaks your heart," you were hoping for a camera cutaway for Justin's reaction. But it never came. Devastated.
4. Because you secretly still ship 'Jelena' You know, the couple name for Justin and Selena. Especially after discovering that Bieber's track, Mark My Words, is about Gomez: "You're the only reason why, I don't wanna live a lie. Mark my words." These crazy kids. Get back together already.
3. You weren't fazed by the recent naked pictures of The Biebs on vacay Because you've seen him in the Calvin Klein ads and know, as a matter of immutable fact, that Biebs is buffer in real life. So, by logical deduction, these pictures of a skinny white man cannot be Justin. No photoshop about it.
2. And you're no longer ashamed when friends find Bieber on your phone In your playlist, that is. Not the nudie pics. Filthy mind.
1. Most tellingly, you find yourself quoting Love Yourself When you want to throw shade: "My mama don't like you, and she likes everyone." Boom.
Check back every Monday for another @MusingMutley column from Norman Tan, Editor-in-Chief of Buro 24/7 Singapore. For more columns from @MusingMutley, click here.