Joji's debut EP 'In Tongues' is a brilliant showcase of the artist's early talents shown with lo-fi melancholy.
This EP gets a lot of unnecessary flack for it's uninspiring lyrics, and lifeless vocals, and honestly I do have to agree at some points, example being "Bitter Fuck", but that absolutely never stopped me from loving this project. So that begs the question, why do I love this EP so much?
The production on this project is still some of Joji's best material to date. The detailed lo-fi instrumentals is brilliant, capturing the feeling of melancholy perfectly, and with Joji's vocals, some of these songs are very very strong. What holds this back is Joji's early vocals though, but also propels it forward at the same time. The "emotionless" performances actually make me think of it in a different light. The song "Bitter Fuck" lyrics show that he simply doesn't care anymore, "Cause I don't give a fuck, you made me a bitter fuck". This ties in with the emotionless vocals as it shows he doesn't give a fuck, so why should he show emotion? This could be a bad thing for most, but I feel him being drowned out by the stellar production is a good thing. It provides a little bit of a story, and this ties in with the rest of his albums.
What is this story?
"In Tongues" is a cry for help, but it seems like it's not reaching anyone. He is stuck. He's experiencing heartbreak. "BALLADS 1" is him still experiencing that sadness but is becoming more vocal and is trying to better himself. "Nectar" is where he begins to overcome this.
That's just like how I want to think of it, back to the review.
A lot of the songs here have so much structure to them which makes me love it even more. Songs like "Demons", "Will He", and "worldstar money" are just really refined and amazing for me. The production on all of those are very detailed and his voice perfectly matches all of them. Other tracks like "Window" and "Pills" although good, don't hold up to those top 3 tracks. Another complaint this EP gets a lot is how boring it can be. This EP isn't very listenable in a lot of environments/times, so I can agree to a certain extent, but when I tend to listen to this, I listen to it in a dark room at night which is where I tend to enjoy it more. One of the last criticisms is it's lyricism Lyricism in projects tend to not really annoy me to be quite honest. As long as it's not horrifyingly bad, I won't care, I personally just like the sound of music more.
So what I'm trying to say is that a lot of the criticisms it gets doesn't really effect my personal opinion on the album, and sometimes it's a strong-suit for me.
Although I do greatly enjoy this EP, there are some flaws. My biggest flaw is just one song, Bitter Fuck. If me and Brad can agree on anything, it's this song. It's not very good. It has the most bland production out of all of the songs here, or out of his whole discography. The lyrics are also just atrocious! "They call me a Bitter Fuck, because of you", okay Joji! Cool Joji! Now with that being said, I still weirdly enjoy this track on certain occasions, fuck you Brad this isn't the worst song of 2017, I mean Ed Sheeran, Eminem, and The Chainsmokers dropped song that year..
To conclude this review, In Tongues is a great little EP. It perfectly shows off Joji's unique and detailed production and that he has a chance in the music business. It's very far from his best material, arguably his worst material, but that doesn't mean it's bad. I feel this EP get's dogged on a lot, so I made this review to fully appreciate it. I've been following Joji for many years, and this EP truly does mean a lot to me. I've spent many nights listening to this, and so I do owe it a lot.
Favorite Tracks: Will He, Demons, worldstar money
Least Favorite Track: Bitter Fuck