It’s been three years since we’ve had a solo album from Justin Bieber with 2012’s Believe . Since that time, the Canadian pop star has done more than enough to damage his once spotless reputation. There was the drag racing, the egging, the bucket peeing, and very little music.
It seems that Bieber has turned a corner, working hard this year to repair his reputation with an apology tour and stepping up his charity work. Justin also found his way back to the recording studio, releasing Where Are Ü Now with Skrillex and Diplo and finding himself back at the top of the charts.
Now after a month-long celebrity countdown, Bieber’s rumoured first single from his upcoming November 13 album has finally arrived. And it’s really, really good.
The Skrillex produced What Do You Mean borrows some of the same sounds as Bieber’s collabo with the Jack Ü duo, with a soft EDM beat with piano accompaniment as the backing to Bieber’s list of relationship questions.
The song doesn’t offer the same rise of emotion and climax as Where Are Ü Now, instead focusing on a steady island beat that doesn’t really go anywhere, but that’s okay. Sometimes it just feels good for a song to be consistently strong and, well, consistent throughout.
The new song is a conscious step into adulthood for the 21-year-old Bieber, who sings about ‘arguing all day and making love all night’. Whereas his previous songs like Boyfriend and Baby were all about how he excels as a partner; the new single takes a more relatable approach to relationships. The Biebs is just as confused as the rest of us.
In addition to releasing the new song on iTunes and Spotify today, Bieber also dropped a lyric video for What Do You Mean. Justin’s long time friend and professional skateboarder Ryan Sheckler does most of the heavy lifting for the black and white lyric vid, skating around L.A. with fellow pro Chelsea Castro. Sheckler eventually meets up with a bare chested, Calvin Klein-wearing Bieber, showing him a few more tricks before the video ends.
The video is directed by Laban Pheidias, who has worked with everyone from Britney Spears to Warpaint to Billy Joel to Justin Timberlake and even Bieber’s Where Are Ü Now collaborator, Diplo.
If you can’t get enough of Bieber’s long-awaited first single, fear not. Justin will be performing the new single during Sunday’s MTV VMAs, airing at 8E/5P on MTV and Much.