AOTY 2020
Joji - Nectar
Oct 25, 2020
94
Joji has been a figure I've been following for around 7 years and I've always found his come up/transition into music fascinating. When it comes to his music, I've always really enjoyed it as SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK is my favorite song of ALL TIME (yes, don't judge me). Chloe Burbank is also, in my opinion, a masterpiece. That project struck me personally, and I've loved it since release. So you can say that I was very very excited for Nectar as I loved his projects in the past.

Track by Track Analysis:

We start off with "Ew" which is a beautifully orchestrated ballad that kicks off this album greatly, showing a great vocal performance and instrumental from Békon. Following this is "MODUS" which starts off slow and beautiful but transitions into a faster paced song with Joji sorta rapping? I enjoyed this quite a bit and especially that strong chorus.

"Tick Tock" is a very simple song here, but lovable and very catchy especially the first part of the song which is pitch-shifted. Next we have "Daylight" which is a very average pop song but with Joji's twist. It's enjoyable but not the best thing I've heard.

Then we get this sorta simple interlude "Upgrade" that goes back to his older simpler days of Chloe Burbank, which I am a sucker for and of course I liked this track although it being simple.

"Gimme Love" is split into two sections which I've gotta say after listening to it for a few months, I prefer the first half of the song. When listening to this over and over, the second half just becomes boring, good track though.

Here comes my favorite single of the year, "Run". God, I love this song, Such a huge step up with the vocals and the guitar solo at the end is just a treat to listen to. This song still holds up very well.

The first single for this album came out in 2019 and is called "Sanctuary" and is still one of the better tracks on this album, pretty unique when it comes to whats in this album aswell.

"High Hopes" was something I didn't have high hopes for (see what I did there?), specifically for the feature of Omar Apollo, and what can I say? It didn't come out very great, but I still keep finding myself listening to this track cause I actually like the beat for it.

"NITROUS", a fun poppy song produced by Clams Casino who produced "CAN'T GET OVER YOU" in 2018 for "BALLADS 1" which has the same style. I see this song getting lots of hate but this is so addictive to me and I love it.

"Pretty Boy" shows Lil Yachty sounding good for once and is one of my favorite tracks on the album although it being out of place. This was an unexpected banger.

"Normal People" was my most anticipated feature here as Joji and Rei Brown were childhood friends and I enjoy Rei Browns music, but it was probably the most disappointing song from the album. I like the song, some people don't but I still like it, just didn't live up to the potential.

"Afterthought" is easily one of the best features on this album. Joji's performance here is quite average (until the end) but BENEE knocks it out of the park on this one and matches quite well with Joji and I hope they collab again in the future.

"Mr. Hollywood", produced by Kenny Beats, is a really good song, mostly for that instrumental and outro but Joji does well on this song too.

"777" although it is a blatant The Weeknd ripoff, I still enjoyed the song quite a bit, I just don't like how he ripped off Blinding Lights basically.

"Reanimator" had so much potential, especially with the Yves Tumor feature, but comes up short as it's a very long intro to basically nothing... but I still weirdly like it.. what is wrong with me..

"Like You Do" a powerful ballad, reminiscent of SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK is in theory could be one of my favorites, and it is. I do prefer SDITD but I still love this song for it's powerful vocals and slow piano beat.

"Your Man" was disappointing but I still like it for some odd reason as it has a lovable quality, and its just a fun dance song. But I believe this shouldn't have been the ending track, I think Like You Do would've done it better.

Overview/Conclusion:

Nectar is easily Joji's most realized work yet. He finds himself separating himself from his competition and creating an amazing album. When comparing it to his other works, it does laps on BALLADS 1 and In Tongues. I have a personal bias for Chloe Burbank so it wasn't as good as it but it was very close to me. Everything here has improved drastically; vocals, production, lyrics, etc. For the most-part, the features here did pretty well (Lil Yachty, BENEE, Diplo) but some didn't do as well (Omar Apollo, rei brown) despite their potential. He's now able to pull off a falsetto and show confidence in his voice which if compared to In Tongues, it's night and day, you could even say the same from BALLADS 1. Instrumentally he goes with a completely different route as shown by "Ew" being an orchestral ballad, "Run" being a sort of alt-rock song, "777" being synthpop, and "Sanctuary" just being full on pop. I really do like this new direction as I felt BALLADS 1 could've gotten very redundant if done over and over again. Lyrics have changed for the better as well. Joji has never been a great lyricist but at least his writing hasn't been as bad in his In Tongues days (lookin at you Bitter Fuck).

Overall, I loved this album. A huge step-up from his past work and this will be in my rotation for possibly years to come.

Favorite Tracks: Ew, MODUS, Daylight, Gimme Love, Run, Sanctuary, NITROUS, Pretty Boy (ft. Lil Yachty), Afterthought (with BENEE), Like You Do

Least Favorite Track: High Hopes (ft. Omar Apollo) simply for the horrible feature choice.

94/100

[ Hey! You might've seen this review already, well it's because it's a repost! I wanted to repost this review because I wanted to be able to add a lot more to it that I wasn't able to add before and to show to more people. If you've seen this and you're confused, this is why, but I did add a few paragraphs to the original.]
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