Joji - Nectar
Sep 25, 2020 (updated Oct 9, 2020)
75
June 16th, 2008- A man by the name of George Miller, alongside his friends, created the Youtube channel that is now named DizastaMusic. They subsequently uploaded their first video 2 days later, that video being the classic “Lil Jon falls off the table.” However George’s popularity wouldn’t start gaining momentum until he released “Filthy Shit” where he debuted a character known as Filthy Frank.

The more Frank would show up on the Dizasta channel, the more the channel would rise in popularity. This was to the point where the channel was almost entirely dedicated to George and his many characters. Alongside Frank, there was Pink Guy, Salamander Man, and Chin Chin, among others. Eventually, Filthy Frank got so popular it spawned a separate channel dedicated to Filthy Frank, alongside George's other characters. Many people seem to undermine how influential Filthy Frank actually was though. First off, his videos were repulsive, offensive, lowbrow- and that’s why everyone loved them. Sure, some of the humor is dated however Frank was helping with ushering in an era of offensive humor into the norm. The Pink Guy character also spawned a short-lived rap career for George. Pink Guy was super influential in creating an offspring of meme rappers. He didn’t usher in the wave, however he helped making it much more popular than it previously was.

However, in 2017 George announced he had his ambitions higher than the Filthy Frank channel and hung up the crown on September 27th, 2017. Instead, he chose to focus on his music career as Joji. He burst onto the scene with his In Tongues EP: an EP of half-baked demos with little appeal behind a one-note aesthetic. His BALLADS 1 LP was mostly more of the same, just slightly more refined however tracks like Slow Dancing in the Dark and NO FUN showcased a lot of potential never seen before in Joji. Then comes the 2 singles: Sanctuary and Run. These were everything I loved about Slow Dancing and NO FUN. The brave and beautiful vocal performances, the expensive and epic instrumentals, better writing, and they actually sounded like finished songs. Gimme Love, in comparison, was more of a refinement of the aesthetic Joji gave us on BALLADS 1 and In Tongues with a godly ascension of an outro. However, the next and final single Daylight was more in the vein of Sanctuary and Run. It had probably my favorite instrumental of the 3 and a vocal performance that honestly barely even sounded like Joji the first time I heard it because of how beautiful it is.

Now Joji was 4/4 with singles so coming into Nectar I was expecting something great from Joji. And now that it’s finally here, I can happily say Joji delivered. First off, the writing is a huge improvement. Joji, lyrically, seems much more heartfelt and much less like him freestyling the first shit that comes to his mind. The writing is actually engaging and impressive at a lot of times, it’s miles above literally anything Joji has done prior even if it isn’t always great. The loose concept of the album is one of futuristic love. It takes place in what is presumably the distant future, where a man, down on his luck, finds the woman of his dreams. He soon becomes a famous model and tries to bring said woman with him into the upper echelon however it ends in heartbreak. It’s a pretty engaging concept even if it’s pretty loose.

The sound of the record is also much better than anything Joji has done in the past. It has much more dynamic production. It feels like Joji’s creative vision came to fruition. There are super cinematic instrumentals like on Daylight, Run, and Ew. Then there are some moody instrumentals such as Like You Do or MODUS. Then there are tracks with much cheerier than usual instrumentals like 777 or Your Man. However, this entire record isn’t Joji completely born anew as there are tracks with that LoFi vibe that his old music emanated and his old fans will love like Normal People, Gimme Love, or NITROUS except these tracks are done much better than a lot of tracks off of In Tongues or BALLADS 1.

Joji’s vocals are also super improved here. He has a much wider range than before. He hits some super orgasmic notes that old Joji definitely wouldn’t be able to hit. These songs also feel much less half-baked then they did on previous Joji projects and there’s much more than just simply “an aesthetic” to Joji’s music this time around. However there are still some problems here. Some features are pretty phoned in like Omar Apollo on High Hopes, or especially on Lil Yachty on Pretty Boy which was a pretty awful track overall. Joji has a weak vocal performance, Yachty lays down a pretty awful feature, the beat is pretty dead; the only thing I can give props to in the song is the fact that it’s a super integral moment for the album’s concept and it also kinda gives off some Pink Guy vibes with how awful and wacked out the track is. Then there are moments where I feel like Joji leaves a lot to be desired on the songwriting front like on Your Man or 777 which feel super off topic and all over the place lyrically. Speaking of Your Man, it feels like a rather unsatisfying track to close the album out. There are also moments where I desire more out of the sound too like on Tick Tock which has a kinda mediocre instrumental and some really awkward pitched down vocals at the start of the track. However, despite all of these problems, Nectar still sounds like Joji’s full potential being tapped into. His vocals are bolder than ever, his songwriting is better, the production is gorgeous, and, despite some occasional missteps across this tracklist, it feels like Joji is really coming into his own as an artist.

FAV TRACKS: Ew, MODUS, Daylight (feat. Diplo), Gimme Love, Run, Sanctuary, Afterthought (feat. BENEE), Mr. Hollywood, Reanimator (feat. Yves Tumor), Like You Do

LEAST FAV TRACKS: Tick Tock, Pretty Boy (feat. Lil Yachty), Your Man
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More Reviews by Chode
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Joji - In Tongues
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