Justin Bieber has surprised fans with a new song, “Broken.” For even casual listeners, it sounds like a response to reasons why he’s gained attention as of late — not for his music, but for his antics.
Bieber released “Broken” for free as he did with 2013′s Journals, only this time in a mixtape by his official DJ Tay James, We Know the DJ Radio 4. Throughout, he croons to a funk guitar and record scratches, a setting fit for ’90s R&B. “They give me what’s mine / someone like me is hard to find / Ooh, I cannot be broken / ooh, I cannot be broken,” Bieber sings at the hook.
Bieber’s lyrics never name exactly who “they” are: those who give him what’s his, those who want a reaction, those are trying to get at him. If anyone else was to have released this song, “Broken” would read as nothing short of empowering. Instead, it’s terribly hard to hear this without recalling his Instagram post comparing himself to Michael Jackson, following his arrest for a DUI and drag racing.
“Broken” may make for a fine throwback, but it also leaves a bitter taste because of how it arrives after — and seems to address — recent events. Hear the new song after the jump.