I feel in the music community, there is always one question people have when talking about Joji: Can he do it? Not to say that he’s untalented, or unworthy of making great music, but there is this strange pressure given to the man's music that I have rarely seen on other artists. There is almost this expectation that he needs to quote ‘prove’ himself to people as an artist, which is strange considering he’s proven himself to make some great songs.
Everyone i’ve talked to about Joji always says they are ‘waiting for his next project’ because by then, he must have finally delivered something spectacular. Something that will change pop music forever, and prove that Joji is more than just a ‘YouTuber turned Musician’, a stigma placed on Joji right out of the gate. So, yeah, expectations were high for me. Like, really high.
...But is that even fair? Does Joji even want to be labeled into one of the defining artists of our generation? Or is he more interested in making vibey music to vibe to in vibe city?
Well, with this album, he proves both that he can do some incredible songs that could change up the way we view pop stars...but fails to do so in some aspects.
Look, at best, this is one of the best pop albums i’ve heard in a good while. Joji knows how to write a great pop song when he wants to, as evident on tracks like ‘Daylight’, ‘Sanctuary’, ‘High Hopes’ and ‘Tick Tock’, providing lush and beautiful production with euphoric hooks that would make any white girl in her teenage years swoon. Joji has his vibe down and locked, and there is nothing standing in his way in delivering that solid atmospheric croon he is known for. Hell, this is the most beautiful and lush album he has ever penned, with tracks like ‘Ew’, ‘Afterthought’, ‘Gimmie Love’, ‘MODUS’ and ‘Run’ being genuinely beautiful and tear-jerking. Joji knows how to use those goddamn strings UGH! And the production consistently is amazing on this project! It’s filled with this dense bass, ambient and spacey synth work and his goddamn VOCALS that soar through the mix like an eagle.
But...look, I want to love this album, but the problem I have is that the highs are High, and the lows are boring as watching paint dry. Like, half of these songs, even though it never really reaches absolute horrid levels, are so painfully mid that it physically HURTS. My gf tried to be wholesome and affectionate during Like You Do, so now I have a memory attached to that track, but goddamn is it ever BORING as SIN. Not even a relationship can save that song from being a snoozefest, and that's half of this album! What even is a ‘Mr. Hollywood’?
...Which sucks, because this album has some GREAT stuff! Like, I will be coming back to this record a lot just for the highlights off this record! The favorite tracks that I have listed not only are great on Joji standards, but just great pop songs that meet my vibe quota! But...i’m sorry, this is really boring as an entire album. Joji, as sad as it is to admit, still hasn’t made that record that makes people see what exactly Joji is about. Sure, he’s made songs that will make people open their eyes, but as an album? It’s flawed, and not even in a way where i’d have lots to say, it’s just kinda...mid!
Joji, if you read this, as a fan, here's what you could, if he wants to be a admired artist over a popular artist, could focus on for your next release:
Cohesion. Make every track hit as hard as the singles you release, or at least so it doesn’t feel like a massive quality dip when talking about the deep cuts of this album.
Keep innovating on your spacey and fun vibe you have. You love your soundscapes, so maybe pull a Everything Everything and play around more with that atmospheric tone you have!
Honestly? Your vocals have gotten amazing. Your great in that department. Could the words you sing be a little more refined? Sure! But hey, you finally sound like your up there with the big ones. So, congrats!
I want Joji to be great. I really do! I love it when he’s great. I just wish he was consistently great rather then just...meh.
Also Lil Yatchy sucks. I don’t care. He’s bad.
Favorite Jams: Gimmie Love, Daylight, Run, Sanctuary, Ew
Lest Favorite: 777