If 2014 was the year of Matthew McConaughey’s resurgence, then I officially declare 2015 as the year Justin Bieber turned his own image around.
It’s something most people have been thinking — but not voicing aloud — since the mid-November release of his new album, Purpose. His music has not only dominated radio waves since then, but at this current moment in time, three tracks from that record sit in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100.
But Bieber’s reputation and lackluster discography leading up to this new release created an awkward situation for music listeners. We’re trained to not like him. To dismiss his music. To disavow all things Bieber.
However, the simple truth is that these new tracks are good. They’re nothing inventive, nor is it anywhere near the best of 2015, but it blends perfectly well in today’s pop music scene.
And slowly but surely, Bieber fans are coming out of the woodwork. This idea is exemplified perfectly in this funny video that I stumbled across on Facebook, of a British man listening to Bieber’s early music with disgust, and declaring that he will “never ever, ever, ever like this guy.”
Seconds later, the song changes to “Sorry,” one of Bieber’s new tracks, and the British guy hilariously changes course, as much as he hates to admit it.
Chalk up the success of the new album to quality production, smart collaborations, or basically anything but the vocals, but the fact of the matter is that the end product is pleasurable to the ears.
And you have to give the kid some credit. For the last few years, he was Public Enemy #1. No one liked him. They wanted him banished from the music scene at best, deported to Canada at worst.
Also, don’t think this is easy for me to admit. Justin Bieber has been one of my more consistent punch lines since I started this blog six years ago. Charlie Sheen came and went, The Situation is ancient history, and Donald Trump wasn’t even worth insulting until about six months ago.
But Bieber has always been there. Searching his name on this blog reveals of tidal wave of hate. Six pages worth, in fact.
I never saw this coming. I thought Bieber was more likely to have an Amanda Bynes-like mental breakdown than become a fan favorite ever again. So I must give credit where credit is due.
But you’ve already made up your mind, you just don’t know it yet. And when we look back on 2015, for better or worse, we will remember this as the year that Justin Bieber somehow, someway, made us all ito semi-Beliebers.
I said it.