Reviews

Joji “SMITHEREENS” Album Review

SMITHEREENS

Joji

    • Genre: Alternative
    • Date: 04 Nov, 2022
    • Content: explicit
    • Region: USA
    • Track(s): 9
  • ℗ 2022 88rising Records/Warner Records Inc.

Jorji’s new album, “SMITHEREENS,” marking his first full-length since 2020’s “Nectar,” is presented to us as a double album, which is visually represented by the change in lettering characterization in the song titles. The entire project gives us nine tracks, with a runtime of less than 25 minutes. But the overall quality of the project isn’t necessarily diminished by this. The fact that SMITHEREENS is such a short listen in terms of its duration is something you’ll actually grow to cherish.

Album Cover Art

Joji &Quot;Smithereens&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, May 22, 2024

Three different colors, ash, grey and lemon green, are made to fit in a frame, a color at a time, in a way that makes it seem as though the original light source is actually the lemon green which fades the farther you move from it.

Tracks and Features

The album opens with “Glimpse of Us,” a track that deals with post-break up scenarios and a lover who still misses his ex despite being in a new and better relationship. The ballad-type beat has the vocalist singing out his heart with a beautiful and overwhelming support from the backups. Love, relationship-related issues, desire and jealousy are topics found in the lyrics. The cool piano chords blend perfectly with the vocalizations. The second track, “Feeling Like the End,” sees Joji display versatility in terms of rhyme and rhythm. The Pop-type beat has the vocalist melodiously painting the picture of a relationship facing some internal turmoil. Broken promises, desire, pain and betrayal, and hope we’re also touched on. The song is simple and straightforward, containing clear messages.

However, the song, “Dissolve,” in which the typical hip-hop sound is substituted with a guitar drowned in reverb, shows the band’s musical maturity. It gives listeners a new sound by fusing the more technological aspects of his earlier work with a more acoustic manner. This is best demonstrated by the song “BLAHBLAHBLAH DEMO,” which has a more basic sound, including a synthesized beat, a straightforward bassline, and auto-tuned vocals, giving it a more bedroom hip-hop feel overall.

Third track on the album is “Die For You.” The track begins with a chill piano chord, paving an easy entrance for the vocalist. The track speaks about love, jealousy, fate and adoration. The singer admits to still being in love with an ex and sings of this affection. The R&B/Soul-type beat arrangement is excellent and the vocalist, together with the amazing backups, deliver awesomely on this song. There’s also an interlude of strings and piano instrumentals at intervals and this adds some ambience to the overall makeup of the track. Simply amazing to listen to.

“Before the Day is Over” comes next and begins with a high-pitched riff intro. The R&B-type track also has an incredible arrangement as Joji sings about love and relationship-related stuff. The piano chords give the track a ballad feel and the singer is totally immersed in his rendition which was done in amazing fashion. “1AM Freestyle” closes out the album. The Hip-hop/R&B feel of the track, added to the terrific vocals of the lead and the background singers, make this track a great listen. Topics bordering on dependency, love, companionship, unity and the need for a “shoulder to lean on” were beautifully conveyed through the wordings of this song.

Tracklist

NO TITLE TIME
1 Glimpse of Us 3:53
2 Feeling Like The End 1:42
3 Die For You 3:31
4 Before The Day Is Over 3:33
5 Dissolve 2:57
6 NIGHT RIDER 2:07
7 BLAHBLAHBLAH DEMO 2:22
8 YUKON (INTERLUDE) 2:21
9 1AM FREESTYLE 1:53

Album Theme

The album’s SIDE A, which has melancholy and reflective ballads and lush production that blossoms inside each song, marks Joji’s transition towards a more mature sound direction. SIDE B delves deeper into the low-fi and out-of-tune sounds that recall Joji’s early experimental work as an artist.

Production Credits

Producers on the studio effort include Aaron Reyes, Benjamin Jacob Asher Bailey, Bēkon, Connor McDonough, Daniel Krieger, The Donuts, Isaac Sleator, Jacob Ray, Joji, Justin Parker, Suburban Plaza, Tay Dex, Tim Randolph, Wes Singerman, Whethan & Wonton Jesus.

Stream

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