AOTY 2023
Joji - Nectar
Sep 25, 2020 (updated Sep 28, 2020)
[Nectar / Joji] - "Derivative Bliss"

Joji's discography has been enigmatic for me. From the very start of his *serious* music career, he has shown the potential for doing something spectacular in his own respective genre with examples such as "Slow Dancing in the Dark", "Thom", "Rain on Me" being some of my personal favourite singles to come out in recent years. Ever since he has joined the mixed hodgepodge of artists that is called "88rising"; he has diverted his style from the bedroom-producer style of Lo-Fi to an expansive, mainstream pop soundscape while still trying to retain that Lo-Fi vibe that he has relied on for years and yet, it drags the experience of the album down.

There are moments in "Nectar" where the whole atmosphere of the album is completely shifted from something very low key, melancholic and restrained to something completely out of place, for example, the transition from "NITROUS" to "Pretty Boy" is just grating to my ears. It is like Joji cannot choose what audience to please, either to fit in within the ordinary Spotify playlists to rack up streams or to appeal to the style that he has set in stone with "Chloe Burbank Vol.1" and "In Tongues".

Despite this, this is by far his most consistent album in terms of quality. Joji's full-length projects have had the problem of being wildly inconsistent I mean, "Will He" and "Bitter Fuck" are on the same album and is the prime example of this. Though in my opinion, this problem is not here (or at least not as bad). The singles leading up to "Nectar" were excellent examples of Joji's musical prowess from the catchy, "Gimmie Love", the spacy, yet vocally pleasing, "Sanctuary" and the bombastic "Run" are standouts in "Nectar" and they seriously carry this album. While many people agree that his overall singing and vocals have improved over the half-decade, his voice still feels like the limiting factor to some of these tracks with his voice groaning and moaning all over the place without much variation in intonation, emotion or rhythm. The lyrics are what you expect out of Joji. Lovesick, cryptic and melodramatic; you obviously won't find much substance here but that's not we're here for. We're here for them SADBOI VIBES and he certainly does well in this regard much like his previous album but it's just presented in a much more digestible, enjoyable way. (looking at you, "Attention" and "WHY AM I STILL IN LA")

Some of the features as well are up to scratch as Yves Tumor, Diplo and surprisingly, Lil Yachty brings great performances that add much to their own songs without stealing much of the spotlight off Joji. Though I do find BENEE's and especially Omar Apollo's appearances pretty underwhelming and doesn't do much for me in the long run. Overall, I think that Joji has done well on this album in terms of execution, production and improving on his own formula, though it isn't mindblowing, you can see the improvement and effort that Joji has put in and maybe, one day, we'll get an album that is more consistent of the quality of "Run" than something like "Mr. Hollywood".

Favourite Tracks: "Ew", "MODUS", "Run", "Sanctuary", "NITROUS", "Daylight", "Normal People"
Worst Tracks: "Mr. Hollywood", "Your Man", "Afterthought"

Hot take, Omar Apollo's appearance was literally more underwhelming than fucking Lil Yachty's cheese on Pretty Boy
@MSK3 not even a hot take, this is facts for me
Lil Yachty ripped up on pretty boy I have to say. That Omar feature was pretty shite tho
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More Reviews by KarloGallegos
Joji - Gimme Love
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