Justin Bieber watches a young actor portray him on a big stage.


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Kristin Smith

Album Review

Justin Bieber just released another new track called “Lonely.”

A vulnerable, piano-driven ballad, this song reflects on Justin’s early launch into fame, and the isolation and unhappiness that have inevitably followed.

Just a Young(star)

With an assist from benny blanco, Justin confesses that although the entire world knows him by name, he is still trying to figure out who he is (“Like lookin’ in a mirror, tryna steady yourself/And seein’ somebody else”). As time passes, he still wrestles with daily demands that wear him down (“Maybe when I’m old, it’ll all calm down/But it’s killin’ me now”).

Apparently, this is nothing new for Justin. He profanely tells listeners that although he has a lot of material possessions, he still feels as if there aren’t that many people present to listen to him (“What if you had it all?/But nobody to call?/’Cause I’ve had everything/But no one’s listening/And that’s just f—ing lonely”).

And he shares that much of this is a product of fame at a young age, of being publicly criticized for mistakes he made as he was still growing and learning: “Everybody knows my past now/Like my house was made of glass/And maybe that’s the price you pay/for the money and the fame at an early age.”

It seems, to Justin, that people have had a lot to say against him, but not a lot to say to him to strengthen and encourage him on his journey: “And everybody saw me sick/And it felt like no one gave a s—/They criticized the things I did as an idiot kid.”

We Think We Know

When you look at the life of a famous popstar, you might think they live a problem-free, easygoing existence. But that’s not true. Especially in the case of Justin Bieber.

Bieber’s fame blew up at the tender age of 13, and in “Lonely,” he vulnerably confesses that his storming popularity has caused him deep pain. This is shown really well in his video as a young “Justin” wishes for a normal childhood that he never receives.

Can you imagine all eyes on you during your most formative years? I certainly can’t. And I don’t envy those young stars whose lives are put on blast, often against their will.

This genuine, heart-wrenching song is one that vulnerably expresses Justin’s deep emotional pain. But it does so with two harsh profanities that will push it out of reach, lyrically, for young ears.

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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