Justin Bieber has plenty to celebrate on the one-year anniversary of his latest album, Purpose.
Following the Nov. 13, 2015 release of Purpose, Bieber landed his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (with two more after that) and debuted atop the Billboard 200. So Billboard thought why not celebrate with JB and relive the greatness that is Purpose? with a ranking of all the songs from his fourth studio album?
Check out our list of Purpose? songs from the not-so-great to the cream of the crop. And of course we included songs from the deluxe version, because when it comes to the Biebs, we don’t mess around.
18. “I’ll Show You”
Bieber has proven that he can put his own spin on a R&B track just as well as he can on a sugary sweet pop hit, but this just kind of fell flat. It doesn’t do much for Bieber’s voice and the beat sounds somewhat similar to the underground hip-hop you listened to in middle school. There’s definitely better ways he “showed” us his musical chops on this album.
17. “Mark My Words”
For an album opener, “Mark My Words” isn’t exactly what one would picture to introduce a collection filled with some awesome tunes. The story does? have a certain significance that feels right for an intro, but the melody to go along with it doesn’t really match up. And if the “na-na-na-na-na-na-na-nas” were supposed to be catchy, Bieber kind of missed the “Mark” on that one.
16. “Life Is Worth Living”
It almost feels cynical to put this song so low when the meaning of it is pretty poignant. But there’s just not much magic in “Life Is Worth Living” — at least compared to the others around it. Something about it is a little more pious and sing-songy than we were bargaining for.
15. “All In It”
A more successful attempt at a slick R&B track, Bieber managed to craft a head-bopper with “All In It.” But even with the titular phrase serving as both the hook and the chorus, the song loses its appeal the more those three words are repeated.
14. “No Sense” (feat. Travis Scott)
One thing to commend Bieber for on this album is the variety he achieved on the collabs, despite having three rappers contribute. While pairing with Travis Scott was a good move for the Biebs, it actually kind of backfired on him — Scott was the best part of the otherwise not super exciting track.
Bieber doesn’t exactly need to do anything except breathe to make girls swoon, but he really shows off his ability to bring the girls to the yard with this croon. It is a little on the repetitive side, but his silky vocals void any sort of obnoxiousness that could result from singing the same lines over and over.
Although meaningful lyrics about being a “visionary for a change” don’t typically come in Skrillex-laden tracks, the DJ/producer came together with Bieber to prove that the result isn’t as strange as you would think. When that explosive beat drops you really pay no mind to what Bieber’s singing about anyway.
11. “No Pressure”
The climbing vocals in the chorus make for one catchy little ditty in “No Pressure,” and with Big Sean providing a smooth rap slipping in references to Yoko Ono and Empire, there’s something somewhat artful about this collaboration.
10. “Get Used To It”
A couple of the five extra songs on Bieber’s deluxe version of ?Purpose? practically gave the phrase “bonus track” a new meaning, and “Get Used To It” is one of them. Some people may not like being told they need to “get used to” someone loving or checking in on them, but Bieber delivered the rather stalker-esque lyrics in such a bubbly, bumpin’ way that you forget Stockholm syndrome may be a risk factor of listening to it.
Now that we’ve reached the halfway point, it’s becoming a little clearer that Bieber was a culprit of writing some awfully repetitive lyrics on ?Purpose?. But when it happens in a song that’s this slick and danceable, it’s hard to care that he says the word “company” almost 20 times.
8. “We Are” (feat. Nas)
While there may be catchier choruses on Purpose?, Bieber’s masterful runs in this track make for quite the bumping tune. But it’s not the most radio-friendly song of sorts, and frankly no rap feature will ever compare to the epic rhymes Ludacris laid down on “Baby.” (C’mon, using the word playground in a rap? Genius.)
7. “The Feeling” (feat. Halsey)
This collaboration probably could’ve been just as much of an earworm without the assistance from Halsey, but the team-up on “The Feeling” made it practically irresistible. And if you aren’t convinced by the “feeling” this song gives you just by listening to it, watch their steamy Today? show performance of it and suddenly you’ll see why it’s so high on this list.
A bit cheesy (especially the talking track that closes out the song), “Purpose” is a perfectly heartfelt thank you to those die-hard Beliebers that surely makes them melt as soon as they hear the tinkling of the piano. Plus, the stripped-down sound makes for a nice reminder that he’s actually a great singer.
5. “Where Are U Now” (feat. Skrillex and Diplo)
Considering there’s a Grammy involved with this one (Bieber’s first, at that), we couldn’t not? give it a top 5 ranking. But it’s not just the hardware that makes this song great. It’s definitely a club banger — no matter how annoying you may find the dolphin-sounding squeal of the beat drop — and showcases Bieber’s voice in a way we didn’t realize it could be delivered.
4. “Been You”
Perhaps one of the bigger odes to the poppy goodness Bieber delivered in the ?My World era, it’s not so surprising that he made it a deluxe track rather than putting it on the regular LP — but we’re just glad he decided to share its glory with the world. With a bouncy, almost ’80s-style beat and swoon-worthy vocals in all aspects of the song, “Been You” is one ?Purpose? track we’re still waiting to hear on the radio.
3. “Love Yourself”
Whether you were riding the Bieber train before Purpose? or not, there’s a relatable element to the phrase “my momma don’t like you and she likes everyone” — and an epic delivery of the rest of the “screw you”-type lyrics — that makes “Love Yourself” an appealing tune to even the biggest of Bieber haters.
2. “What Do You Mean?”
Bieber couldn’t have picked a better song as his (somewhat) comeback single, and it was certainly worthy of being his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. While Bieber was called out for promoting rape culture with the lyrics, the lighthearted bounciness of “What Do You Mean?” relays an innocence that makes you think Bieber is legitimately posing the question — in one heck of a catchy way.
Call it cliche — “Sorry” is Purpose?’s most successful song (7x platinum) — but there’s no denying this song is an absolute jam. Bieber had dished some pretty memorable pop hits in the past, but there’s nothing quite like the masterpiece that is “Sorry.” From the moment the beat starts, the song makes it tough to not? shake your hips, sing along, or simply lose all control of your body… and that’s the sign of a powerhouse track.