Middle-school me would never have expect that in a few years I'd be raving about how good a Justin Bieber song is, but here we are. Justin Bieber and BloodPop have delivered an emotional anthem in 'Friends' that'll hit close to home for many people.
Bieber and BloodPop have collaborated before, the producer helping Bieber on his mega-hit 'Sorry.' They've changed pace a little bit with this one, though Bieber still sounds like he's trying to get someone back despite the overtones of the song. Bieber sings with a pretty dark melody above the bubbling bass synths, many little vocal production moments in the background adding color and flavor to the whole track. At the end of the choruses, the song explodes into a powerful anthemic synth, Bieber not letting go.
The lyrics are what hit the hardest in this one. Bieber opens it up by asking questions about the person of interest's mother, trying to show that he still cares about what's going on in their life. The pre-chorus sees him admitting that he's trying to come back into their life, despite how things ended with them: "I know we didn't end this so good / But you know we had something so good." The chorus sweetly asks the simple question "Can we still be friends" though it's evident that Bieber wants to be a bit more than that. In reality, he's asking for a second chance to make things right, and if it doesn't work out, he just wants to part of their life.
This song is powerful on its own, but if you've ever felt this way before or are going through it currently (I know I am), then this song will hold a close place in your heart. There's a lot of pain coming out of a relationship, especially when it was a great one and things ended in a way that they shouldn't have. It's hard to let go and you want them back in your life in any way possible, and 'Friends' really captures all of that, as well as sounding awesome in the process.
Justin Bieber and BloodPop deliver a new emotional anthem in 'Friends,' hitting a subject that holds a hard place in many people's hearts. Many will appreciate the song for its anthemic sound, but some will find the pain in the meaning and really connect with it. It's one of the best pop songs of 2017 and it shows the maturity of Bieber's music (even if he isn't too grounded as a person himself). This is pop music done right.
Rating: 97 / 100
Stream or buy 'Friends' on Apple Music: