Well, here we are. If there is one thing to know about me, it’s that Joji is easily my favorite artist of all time. By quality, by memories, you name it. He completely changed my life and my music taste almost revolves around his own musical style, and inspired me into my own endeavors in my life.
Out of love for the artist, I decided to rank and fully review every song in his discography. This consists of 61 songs ranging from his albums, EP’s, features, unofficials, and leaks. This review took me a month to complete so I really hope you all enjoy it. I would first like to thank @reaIreaIweaseI for giving me the idea and helping me all the way through. The original idea for these lists was entirely created by @Toasterqueen12 so I’d also like to thank her for even coming up with it. Shoutout to both of them!
I do want to preface this with that at some points this review does get personal as the artist is very near and dear to my heart. I also want to say that this review is very long and is pushing the word limit of AOTY reviews. Also note that this is all my opinion and that well, my Joji opinions are fact so don’t you dare say anything otherwise in the conversation.
With all of that out of the way, welcome to all of Joji’s Songs Ranked and Reviewed.
61. Bitter Fuck
Where do I even start with this song? Bitter Fuck is not only the worst Joji song, but one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard. A true outlier in Joji’s discography. Production is completely watered down, simplistic too. Vocals are hard to admire as they’re underdeveloped but the lyricism is definitely the worst part due to it being so horrid. I understand the hate for Bitter Fuck completely… but with that being said, I ironically enjoy it from time to time.
60. High Hopes (ft. Omar Apollo)
Surprising to most as Nectar is one of my favorite projects of all time, High Hopes is pretty far down on the list. Due to 2 simple reasons, both Omar and Joji. Both of their vocal performances seemed really half-assed and are hard to desire. The percussion beat is really unique and has some experimental elements that I liked but when you have two vocalists who don’t really extend off that, you get High Hopes. Also, fuck Omar Apollo’s part, I want to snooze.
(Update to this! Omar Apollo recently said on Instagram Live that his part was made in around 10 minutes and that he never spoke to Joji or met Joji. It explains a lot about the quality of this song and really proved my suspicions on this being phoned in.)
59. Hopscotch (ft. AUGUST 08, Barney Bones, Rich Brian)
The first song to appear off of the 88rising compilation “Head in The Clouds II”, this song is just a really bad attempt at a trap song. Although it’s a feature from Joji, every artist on here does bad except Rich Brian and Joji’s second half of his verse. But one undeniable quality that keeps this above the last two songs is that it is infectious and fun. But other than that, it really has nothing else and is quite bare.
58. Need is Your Love (ft. GENERATIONS from EXILE TRIBE)
Marking this point, this is where the songs start to pick up in quality. “Need is Your Love” is another track off of ‘Head in The Clouds II’ featuring JPOP group GENERATIONS from EXILE TRIBE. This track is probably one of Joji’s more mid songs as it’s just “another summer pop song” but is nowhere near Joji’s style at all.
57. OMG (w/ RL Grime, Chief Keef)
One of Joji’s only times in the EDM genre with RL Grime, and Chief Keef? Somehow this does turn out not bad but also not good either. I think this song did everything it could have done with the matchup of the artists but it is weird nevertheless.
56. Walking (ft. Jackson Wang, Major Lazer, Swae Lee)
“Walking” is an okay song. That’s really all you can say about it. Another weird matchup with the featured artists but it works surprisingly well. I just think the concept of being on a summer pop album does restrict what you can do in general but it does its job well.
55. Breathe (ft. Don Krez)
Easily the best song of the HITC2 from Joji. This is the first instance in this list where it kinda shows that Joji seems to thrive by himself on a song. Now once again with the arguments of this being part of the compilation, it doesn’t extend much off of a summer song, but probably the best Joji can do. After all, it isn’t his genre.
54. 18 (ft. Kris Wu, Rich Brian, Trippie Redd)
Another collective song with Joji, Kris Wu, Rich Brian, Trippie Redd. Split into two different sections with Kris Wu and Rich Brian and Trippie with Joji. The latter half of this song seems to shine brighter than the first as the first may have decent production, it’s just average sonically. The second half becomes a piano ballad with Trippie and Joji having pretty good chemistry with each other. They would then collaborate on a song “R.I.P.” on Joji’s debut album “BALLADS 1”. Speaking of…
53. R.I.P. (ft. Trippie Redd)
Even though Trippie and Joji seemed to have a lot of chemistry on 18, it seems like they didn’t mix very well on this song. What puts this song above the last one is the chorus and the fact it didn’t have the first half of 18… but other than that this is objectively the worst song as Trippie brings in vocals that were not mixed well and just didn’t fit in to begin with.
52. Introvert (w/ Rich Brian)
Brian and Joji, in my opinion, have some of the best chemistry when it comes to them collaborating. But with that, it’s very inconsistent as it’s just hit or miss. This is an example of a mistake. It’s not a bad song per say, but a boring one, nothing to really write about.
51. I Don’t Wanna Waste My Time
I tried to stray away from nostalgia as a motivating factor to put songs higher on the list, and looking back on this song, that’s the only weight it holds for me. It really does show how much he’s improved over the years but with that, this isn’t a very relistenable track for me as there’s just so much better in his discography nowadays.
50. Plastic Taste
The first song coming off Joji’s debut EP “In Tongues” (not the deluxe), Plastic Taste. I think this song has a lot of the same problems as I Don’t Wanna Waste My Time, and I can honestly say the same for some other songs off the EP. I just think this one does it the worst due to how boring it is, but the production is actually really pleasant and with the vocal harmonies it does make it pretty enjoyable for me and something I occasionally revisit.
49. Head In The Clouds
Now this, this is how you do a summer song. It’s fun and the synth pop production itself has a summery feeling to it. A great closer to the first HITC compilation as it perfectly sums up the whole album's vibe.
Besides its interesting production, this song doesn’t hold up much of its own sonically. Boring vocals. But as an original track from the In Tongues era, it holds a lot of nostalgia. What saves it is the nostalgic feeling, production, and that slight explosion in the chorus that keeps it interesting. Everything other than that holds the track down.
47. Peach Jam (ft. BlocBoy JB)
Joji seems to have the weirdest features ever, once displayed by RL Grime and Chief Keef from earlier, now with the guy who collaborated with Drake once, BlocBoy JB. I honestly think this is a great track, it’s quite infectious with that summery vibe. The HITC compilation may seem monotonous but this is definitely one of the standouts of the album, just from honestly how weird the feature is. But it works, which I can appreciate. Also, Harry Styles definitely stole the idea for this song. I don’t care.
46. DON’T YOU KNOW
Our first instance of a leaked song! “DON’T YOU KNOW” is a leaked clip from the BALLADS 1 era. What you can really take from this small snippet was the vocals. I think the production is quite familiar with that BALLADS 1 style but the vocals were, at the time, some of Joji’s best. But due to the song being way too short and not being able to develop well, it never really made it past the mid section, and never really became a “favorite” for me.
45. CAN YOU HEAR ME?
Akin to “DON’T YOU KNOW”, “CAN YOU HEAR ME?” is in the same realm as a leaked clip from BALLADS 1. This time it has a lot more space to grow. I think sonically “DON’T YOU KNOW” was more interesting and closest to career defining for Joji in 2018, but what helps this song is it’s replayability and length. I’d love to hear the full versions of both of these songs as I feel it would benefit them both, but for now, and most likely forever, they stay in the 46th and 45th spot.
44. Gates to the Sun (w/ SahBabii)
A Spotify POLLEN exclusive, a week before Nectar’s release, “Gates to the Sun” came out of nowhere with a feature with SahBabii. Another weird matchup but being a calming lo-fi track. This track is relatively unknown as Nectar came out only a week later to blow this song into the shadows. I believe this song is heavily underrated for what it was, but I can see why it was mostly forgotten to most.
43. WHY AM I STILL IN LA? (ft. Shlohmo & D33J)
Besides his 2015 lo-fi days, Joji didn’t go into the experimental side of music. Staying relatively in that “Alt R&B” lane or creating songs like SDITD, he didn’t branch out very much. Until the release of BALLADS 1. This song in particular caught my eye. “WHY AM I STILL IN LA?” was heavily experimental for Joji due to him not delving into the rock world yet, especially noise rock. Despite that, this song didn’t exactly perform what it was set out to do. I appreciate the effort more than I enjoy the song itself, as it did influence other rock efforts in the future which I will be speaking about later...
42. La Cienega (ft. NIKI)
“La Cienega” is a very important song in Joji’s discography, let me explain. This is the first instance of Joji’s falsetto, which was later used on Nectar which in my opinion, carries it within the vocal standpoint. This is the first time Joji seemed to become more comfortable with his voice. What this also proves is his and NIKI’s indescribable chemistry, which I hope they develop more on in the future as they have potential in making something great as they’re both great artists.
41. COME THRU
“COME THRU” is a song off BALLADS 1 that attempts the high energy banger that a lot of tracks attempted off the album, but seemed to have failed in comparison to the others. Although I do think it’s one of the weakest, I still do enjoy it a lot and find it very replayable, just not something I really come back to a lot.
40. Your Man
Alert! Alert! Unpopular opinion time! What the actual fuck. Why is this one of Joji’s top streamed songs of ALL TIME? Joji’s discography is filled with hidden gems and this was given the spotlight? Although I think it’s a sweet catchy song, it’s just a poor man's Sanctuary and doesn’t really do anything for Nectar. It took the spot of the closer even though with Nectar’s theme, it deserved a melancholic powerhouse ending like “Like You Do” instead of a go-lucky positive ending that doesn’t fit with the theme. The streams on this song is a heavy conspiracy to me cause I really just do not get the high (keyword high) appeal of this track. It’s okay nevertheless.
39. TEST DRIVE
“TEST DRIVE” is a hit or miss song for me. As in, it depends on what mood I am in to enjoy this song. Sometimes this could be a boring song for me or a song that is very chill and calming to listen to. Overall? It gives me heavy Post Malone vibes, but at that point, I’d rather listen to Post Malone. This was sort of the derivative phase for Joji, but he quickly moved out of it after this album.
38. Tick Tock
The sample carries this track. That’s all I have to say. Okay but seriously? This song is a banger revisiting it after his whole discography. I really underestimated it before. It’s honestly a solid track. But for Nectar, definitely one it’s weakest. I don’t think it necessarily fits in the track-list, and I feel that this fits more in a Deluxe edition for Nectar or something, like some other tracks off Nectar.
Although I attack this track a lot for its immense similarities to The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights'', I do think this song is quite good for what it is. A 80’s synth pop banger with a really catchy autotuned chorus. There’s nothing inherently wrong about this song, but its similarity to “Blinding Lights” which is the better song, does hurt the song quite a bit.
Joji’s second venture down the watered down production lane with Clams Casino, didn’t exactly hit nearly as much as it’s predecessor, but I will defend this track till I die. NITROUS is a great song and it is one of Joji’s catchiest to this day. The ad libs single-handedly carry this track to this stratosphere and is one of my most replayed Joji tracks. I understand people’s dislike for it, but I also don’t, cause this shit bangs.
The memories this song withholds is more powerful than the meaning of the song itself. This was the song I strapped into the airplane with going to see my family again after 5 years of being apart. I still remember it vividly, as uncanny as it is, looking out the window, leaving the state of North Carolina, and looking onward to a new path. I think Window’s actual meaning is really interpretive and was at the time, one of Joji’s only great lyric-writing moments. The production’s spacey feeling left a lot of thinking room as well.
This did what “COME THRU” couldn’t do. This is the high energy, fun pop song I wanted! Definitely one of Joji’s catchiest still! It reattempts “COME THRU” and extends off of it. But despite that, I feel that there can also be more added to it, which was also extended on with songs like “NO FUN” and “CAN’T GET OVER YOU” which I will talk about later.
33. Normal People (ft. Rei Brown)
The long-awaited feature between Joji and rei brown has been hyped up for years. They’re both childhood friends and used to make music together under the alias “Green Echo” with their first song “Once In A While”. That song was one of my favorites in the Chloe Burbank era, although never becoming official. When seeing “Normal People ft. Rei Brown” under the Nectar tracklist, I was heavily excited. But upon first listen, I was very disappointed. The song was incredibly low-energy and not exactly what I was expecting. Now I think the song is very good, but with the potential that both artists had, this was underwhelming. I really hope they work together again in the future though, as they have great chemistry and a great bond, but with this track, it just seemed like 2 Joji’s singing together under a slow beat.
32. I’LL SEE YOU IN 40
The perfect ending to BALLADS 1. One of Joji’s most powerful moments in his discography in my opinion for multiple reasons, and easily one of his most underrated tracks too. The mid-section to this track is absolutely amazing and the train theme was knocked out of the park. The only problem I really have with this track is the fact that the lyrics at the start and end are incoherent. That’s what holds it back from being one of my favorite Joji tracks. With that being said, this has to be a mid song, as it’s almost unbearable to listen to. Maybe it’ll grow on me, but it’s been 3 years, so I doubt it will anytime soon.
Now this is the definition of underrated. I know I’ve said that word a lot throughout this review but this is where it’s at. “Upgrade” revisit’s Joji’s older style with much cleaner production than it used to be. I think this is a very sweet interlude with a slick piano intro and a euphoric ending. I simply do not get the hate towards this song, as it’s just clean throughout the whole song, and it’s not long enough to really be called “boring”. I digress. But this song is phenomenal and you can’t tell me otherwise.
30. Mr. Hollywood
“Mr. Hollywood” is a beautiful love ballad produced by Kenneth Instrumentals a.k.a Kenny Beats. I think what made this song prosper was the vocal harmonies all throughout the song. It isn’t anything special but it’s a gem in its own, and I really like it.
Wow. It took this long to finally reach a Chloe Burbank song? “Medicine” is just an instrumental Joji made 6 years ago, sampling Daughter’s “Medicine”. This song is like running through a flower field without stopping. It’s a very beautiful track but the version that was released has very low quality and has lots of crackles that are quite annoying. I think if this was picked up and completed it could’ve been a lot better than what it turned out to be, but it’s a great track anyways.
28. Afterthought (ft. BENEE)
Two stars coming together that both received popularity from the app “TikTok” collaborating? Yes please? BENEE, gaining popularity from her hit song “Supalonely” has a similarity with Joji in that one aspect. In any other, not really, so this feature really did just come out of nowhere. With that being said… this song is great. These two have a lot of chemistry between each other, and that is something I did not expect at all. BENEE absolutely obliterates her verse, and Joji kills it in the outro. The only thing I would say that’s underwhelming is Joji’s first verse, but everything else was done great and I hope to see these two on another song in the future as they have a lot of potential for greater things.
27. Pretty Boy (ft. Lil Yachty)
Now this, this was a wild card. The original ‘Pretty Boy’ was a short little snippet of Nectar’s storyline, originally not to be released into the public. But then Lil Yachty publicly said on Twitter he enjoyed the song, and they got to work. When this feature was announced, this was the feature I was most scared about, but ended up being the second best one on the whole album. The original ‘Pretty Boy’ remained the same in the beginning, but changed with guitar riffs in the mid-section, and using synth-pop production in the ending. This song didn’t need to be official, but when it became official, it fucking killed it. My main gripe is that it doesn’t fit with Nectar like at all, but I’m not gonna complain about this existing as my life would be much worse without it.
26. NO FUN
How can a song about no fun be this fun? This is almost it. The fun pop song that BALLADS 1 is desperately trying to attempt at, this is ONE of the closest (there’s something closer) to it. NO FUN is Joji’s catchiest off of BALLADS 1 easily. This song could’ve easily passed off on any of the HITC albums due to its summery production. The only gripe I have is that it doesn’t fit nearly as well as the others into BALLADS 1, but it does add a lot of personality which I can appreciate.
25. Midsummer Madness (ft. Rich Brian, Higher Brothers, AUGUST 08)
The absolute pinnacle of summer pop. I’ve tossed those words quite a bit throughout the review, but this is really the one. This is the 88rising collective’s best song ever and they can’t ever top it as it is truly perfection for what is displayed. Nothing else to say, it’s just a phenomenal track!
24. Where Does The Time Go? (w/ Rich Brian)
Marking the last Joji feature (whereas he is the feature), is “Where Does The Time Go?” with Rich Brian. This single-handedly proves that these two have the greatest chemistry out of any artists they’ve both worked with. Sure, there are more futures ahead of this one, but this is the one where both artists hold their own the highest. Rich Brian utilizes Joji’s features in the best way, better than all the others have. There are songs that feature Joji that I completely skipped due to them botching the Joji feature and wasting his potential. This one encapsulated it all. They have to work together in the future as this song only glances at the potential these two have in this industry.
23. WANTED U
Raw, emotional, teardriven rock. That’s exactly what “WANTED U” is. Now I won’t spend too much time on this song as there is one song that did this genre much better than this one, but god damn this is a great song. At the time, it was arguably Joji’s most experimental track yet. For most, it didn’t exactly hit with everyone yet as it bit too much than it can chew, but it was a very solid first effort at the genre.
22. Reanimator (ft. Yves Tumor)
“Wahhh.. There’s too much intro, and not enough song!” is what I would say if I were a mere child. “Reanimator” is an awesome track. Sure, the main complaints about this song are completely reasonable and honestly this song could improve a lot, but I’m gonna take this song for what it is and not what it wasn’t. This song is phenomenal. One of Joji’s best and most interestingly produced tracks ever, featuring the one and only Yves Tumor. Yes, if there was more song than intro, this song could’ve honestly been a masterpiece, but I honestly think what we got was pretty awesome in itself. I’m not going to sulk over what this isn’t, I’m just going to enjoy what I have.
21. rain on me
Ah yes, we return to the Chloe Burbank era. The beautiful piano ballad, “rain on me”, is the only semi-officially released CB song to date, and honestly I can see why. Samples that were actually able to be cleared and are the most reminiscent of Joji’s music (at the time). If you were to ask me, it’s definitely one of his weakest in this era, but it’s understandable why this was the one to be chosen. It’s sad that no other song from CB will ever be released ever as there’s a large amount of samples to clear that would either take years or never will happen. But this being one of the weakest shows how much I love CB truly as it’s so far up on this list.
20. CAN’T GET OVER YOU (ft. Clams Casino)
This is NITROUS done right! The first instance of Clams Casino collaborating with Joji smashed it out of the park! This is the one. This is the pop song that BALLADS 1 was looking for all along. XNXX? Nope. COME THRU? Definitely not. NO FUN? Almost. CAN’T GET OVER YOU? Yep! What all of those didn’t succeed on, this one did. It successfully puts personality into BALLADS 1 with keeping on track with the theme. Great job.
Now this may not be an official song, and arguably yes it was part of a Pink Guy song, but this was the first instance that the core FF (Filthy Frank) fanbase got to see Joji's actual musical talent. The part that was looped and remastered on YouTube is a euphoric piece of art.
A small snippet, taken into the same “NOT SONG” treatment as ‘Pretty Boy’, was the song that should’ve actually been released. “FTC” was first teased at the end of the music video of “YEAH RIGHT” back in 2018. Now being semi-released in 2020, this being a snippet for a song that doesn’t exist surprisingly is a song that surpasses most of the songs off Nectar. If I were to switch ‘Pretty Boy’ being on the album and ‘FTC’ making it, I would in a heartbeat. This is one of Joji’s best vocal performances to date, and an absolutely beautiful song.
17. they don’t understand
As of now and probably forever will be, “they don’t understand” was a song that was teased at the end of a FF video called “WEIRD MCDONALDS RAP”. Set to be released under the Chloe Burbank album, this also never came out, and a full version of the song never saw the light of day. The sad part about this is that if this was a full song, this would’ve easily been my favorite Chloe Burbank song ever. This song makes me feel a lot of memories that no song can ever do, which I explained in my Chloe Burbank review. Here’s an excerpt:
“A track I don't see many individuals truly thinking back on. It is so rich and elegant, it's insane. If I could pick any song that makes you envision something, it's this one. I think I truly love this melody due to an individual inclination, and I'll attempt to portray it as best as I could. If you didn't know by now, I'm Vietnamese, and I truly attempt to go to Vietnam as much as possible to visit my relatives that still live there. This song helps me to remember going into a vacant airport, earphones in, not playing too boisterously, however with the void climate I was in, it felt all the sounds were ricocheting off the walls into my ears. This tune truly embodies what I felt. This melody additionally doesn't actually show bliss straightforwardly, yet I was cheerful at whatever point I went to that airport, realizing I was drawing closer and closer to my relatives. Thinking back on this now, this strikes me harder than it did previously. I was going to go to Vietnam in 2020, however COVID-19 forestalled that. So thinking back on this now, it just makes me miss my family much more.”
It may be a small piano opener to most, but to me, it was the beginning of something new. The opener to BALLADS 1, “ATTENTION” , for a long time was one of my top 5 favorite Joji songs of all time. Akin to Ew, there was a euphoric quality to listening to something for the first time, and an opener is technically the first taste of the full package you get from an album. My love for this song has died down quite a lot since then, but I do owe this song a lot as it did help me through a lot.
15. Like You Do
Welcome to the Top 15. This is where the review starts to get personal as these are the songs that really did it for me. “Like You Do” marks it. This is, in my opinion, the direct successor to “SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK”, the piano ballad powerhouse. Although this song doesn’t do it nearly as well, it’s extremely personal and marks one of Joji’s best vocal performances to date. It’s dark melancholic feeling adds so much to it. Listening to this song in bed at 3 am with the only other sound to be heard by your fan is the best way to experience this song.
14. Daylight (ft. Diplo)
What a fucking surprise. Diplo is my favorite Joji collaborator. This is the highest ranking Joji collaboration track on this list which actually is bewildering to say. This infectious pop track refuses to leave my head. One thing that holds it back is that it isn’t special in any way. Honestly, there are so many other tracks on this list that are below this that have more unique qualities but this song was too good to pass up and made my top 15 easily.
Interestingly enough, this song mostly made it up here due to its production. The production is not out of this world but there’s something so deeply appealing about it that I had to put it close to the top. “Demons” was also one of Joji’s catchiest songs.. “This is not a threat! I promise!”. But what really puts this up here for me is the nostalgia. This at one point was my 3rd most streamed Joji song and was a go-to for me.
12. you suck charlie
The second official single to Chloe Burbank, “you suck charlie '' earned its spot in the Top 15. A soothing lo-fi track that’s incredibly short but sweet. A call to action that Joji desperately needs to revisit this style as some of his highest highs out-do his more instrumentally ambitious tracks. Keeping it simple and raw can always succeed.
11. YEAH RIGHT
The lead single to BALLADS 1, “YEAH RIGHT”. The first glimpse of my 2018 AOTY. ‘YEAH RIGHT’ and it’s music video is one of Joji’s most memorable moments for me. Now this song compared to his previous project ‘In Tongues’ didn’t really seem too out of left field for me. But what immediately stood out to me is that the quality instantly went up, being less boring/monotonous than songs like ‘Pills’ or ‘Bitter Fuck’, this had real personality when combined with its polarizing music video. YEAH RIGHT holds a lot of personal value to my heart as my first real glimpse at my then favorite album of all time.
10. worldstar money (interlude)
It could be perceived as just an interlude, or honestly not as it holds enough structure as an entire song. ‘worldstar money’ has one of the more interesting moments off In Tongues although being short but sweet. The ukulele ballad starts off with a sample of a Worldstar fight, and progresses into one of Joji’s most iconic moments ever. The perfect closer to the EP honestly, and it really delves into a more refined Chloe Burbank song. I wish to see more music like this in the future as this does fit Joji quite well, but of course there is more potential to fit other than this song.
9. Love Us Again
The leak that needs to come out. Leaked in 2019, ‘Love Us Again’ is a reference track for other artists that fits only Joji the most. Once slighted as a “BALLADS 1 rejected track” it was revealed that it just wasn’t. But why does it sound so good? And why does it fit Joji’s style so perfectly? This track is better than almost all of the tracks off BALLADS 1 with it’s absolutely beautiful production, fitting lyricism, and well mixed vocals. Love Us Again may always be the simple little gem in my heart, but I hope someday this sees the light of day as this could’ve easily even fit on Nectar if remastered.
8. Gimme Love
“Gimme Love” is an interesting one. A two part song that is almost unanimously agreed upon the second half carrying, except for me. This song is absolutely beautiful front to back. From the first half having an infectious hook and beautiful vocal harmonies throughout it, with a slick verse from Joji. Production may sound cheap, and yes was produced in GarageBand, but it adds so much personality. Then transitioning to the more artistic second half produced by Bekon with even more impressive vocals. This song closes out in an angelic way. “Gimme Love” in the grand scheme of things, is easily one of Joji’s greatest efforts ever. From the catchy first half, to the heavenly second half. It’s very experimental as it’s a two part song and it keeps the listener all the way through due to its fast paced nature and its lovability in the second half.
7. Will He
Now what does “Will He” have that the other songs off In Tongues doesn’t? A lot of people like to attack this song's quality as it is almost like every song off of its EP. That goes for every single song off the EP, they almost radiate the same progressions, personality, and even lyricism. But what makes this song so special to me is that first taste quality I’ve been talking about throughout the whole review. Upon its release, this was Joji’s most unique song yet. This was his first step into a new direction. Pure sadness overcomes me when listening to this song. This song actually makes me feel something. Relatable lyrics, and a heart-pulsing beat that has the beat drop of the century that leads to so much satisfaction.
Joji’s best pop song, “Sanctuary”. This was the first single off Nectar, and honestly, blew me away. This came out of left field compared to the rest of Joji’s music as in the past most of his songs were filled with melancholy. If he did have a pop song, it was still overcome by lo-fi production and watered down vocals. But with “Sanctuary”, he goes full pop, uses synthpop production, and allows his voice to shine. This song may not have anything inherently special about it or anything unique, but what Joji went for, is what he got. This easily smashed it out the park and blew expectations out of the water when it was released.
Do you ever just feel like going 100 mph in your car and crashing into a fiery building? That’s what this song feels like for me. A song about losing your self-control and your freedom in life. “MODUS” is definitely one of the moodier tracks off Nectar, but also one of the more impressive ones as well. The verses get a lot flack as they are very… different. But I feel it fits Joji’s personality quite well. The star of the show is easily the chorus though. The vocals here are easily a top 3 moment in Joji’s full discography when it comes to full on performance. What holds this song to such high regard is it’s beautiful hellish outro that completely astounded me when I listened to it for the first time. Euphoria ran through me once again, almost more than what ‘Ew’ gave me. The amount of passion used in his voice in the ending completely amazed me. MODUS is a powerful track and earned it’s spot in the Top 5.
This is when lo-fi music peaked, and it will never get to this moment ever again. This is the first Joji song that I have ever listened to back in 2015. This is the best song off my favorite Joji project, Chloe Burbank. “Thom” is a showstopper, and Joji’s most experimental track ever. It completely reinvents the genre of Lo-fi and adds real energy and personality. The vocals on this track almost outdoes everything Joji has done up until this point, besides a few exceptions. It astonishes me how old of an effort this is and how great it was. I understand taking the lo-fi route in 2021 could be very monotonous but this gem proves that Joji has real potential in making something unique.
The second single to Nectar, this is one of the first instances that Joji was actually being taken seriously as an artist, and it makes sense, this song is spectacular. Everything about it is pure perfection. If I went off quality for this list, Run would easily top it. The crescendoing arpeggios from the electric guitars, the falsetto chorus, and the glorious guitar solo ending with the choir vocal harmonies. Everything this song is, what it builds up to, and how it keeps the listener interested, makes it perfect. Easily the best single to come out of 2020, and if I go by quality, probably the best song of all time as well.
2. SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK
They agreed upon best. Everyone knows this song, and everyone knows how great it is, I don’t have to explain it. I’ve already explained it in a one thousand word review, so I won’t analyze it a second time. “SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK” for a long time was my favorite song of all time. It’s illustrious lyrics, angelic vocals, masterful production, everything about it was top notch. A true masterpiece in quality. Memories of dark nights in my bed, sulking over lost love, whilst this in the background. It holds a lot of personal value to me, more than almost all of the songs off this list. It’s my top streamed song of all time, unknown amount but estimating over 1000 streams on this one song alone. I have absolutely zero complaints about this song. I owe so much to this song as it has helped me throughout my darkest times. For a long time, I thought nothing would ever top this song, and that this will forever be my favorite song of all time, until September 25th.
Where do I even start with this song? Ew, the opener to Nectar, is hands down my favorite song of all time. With over 600 plays on this song alone as I’m writing this, I found saying this with ease. What is so lovable about this song? This song holds more personal weight than all of the songs combined. 2020 was easily one of the hardest years of my life and as it was closing, Nectar was probably the only thing I was looking forward to. Ew was the first taste I got from Nectar, and after 2 years of waiting, it was one of the only instances of happiness I felt that whole year. That singular moment makes it my favorite song of all time. Now that's not to say that the song isn't good on it's own, it's fantastic. Yes, the memory does withhold a lot of my favor towards it, but sonically it's everything I want in music. The orchestral instrumentation, falsetto moments, and demented ending, shows the bitter taste (hence the name) of love. It encapsulates that feeling in it’s lyrics and powerhouse performance. The perfect opener for the melancholy that would come before you with Nectar.
Thank you all for reading my review. As I said at the beginning, I have been working on this review for a full month to really do Joji’s music justice. As of now, I will now be doing regular reviews again as I’m finally done with this project. I hope you all enjoyed it, and I hope to discuss this ranking/review in the comments as well. I’m so glad that I finally got to release this.
Thank you all once again.