Album: BALLADS 1
Record Label: 88rising
Recommended Tracks: 2: “Slow Dancing In The Dark” 5- “Can’t Get Over You”
I think for this album it is important to first talk about the artist. Joji, also known as George Miller is an entertainer. Beginning his career as a Filthy Frank on youtube, he left an impression on the video sharing website by releasing content under different aliases and characters. His videos were usually raps depicting some pretty vulgar humour. Nonetheless, this controversial videos garnered him attention, ascending him into fame. Enough of the backstory, onto the album. BALLADS 1 is one of Joji’s first albums as he adapted into his new style, it is a collection that displays his range as an artist.
The recognizably most popular song of the album is track 2, “Slow Dancing In The Dark.” The lo-fi beats paired with lyrics about love and loss allow for this track to easily be a banger. The instruments are gentle as Joji’s voice is introduced, the first lyric being “I don’t want a friend / I want my life in two / Just one more night / Waiting to get there/ Waiting for you”. Describing how he struggles with love throughout the song, the song puts you directly into the feels. This song encapsulates Joji as an artist; vocals, beats, bass line and instrumentals perfectly combined. (Oh, and please check out the masterpiece that is this music video.)
Track 5, “I Can’t Get Over You” is the shortest song of the album, just under 2 minutes. Despite being so short the use of guitar and beats make it all too catchy. This song is different than its counterparts- to an extent. The flow is upbeat and seemingly happy, until you look at the lyrics. The song outlines the effect of love and relationships, some pretty important themes that allow for the song to be more than just surface. While this song could be considered repetitive or too short, the chorus makes the song one of those that will be stuck in your head throughout the day.
Cover to cover this album flows really well. The instrumentals allow for a Joji’s rumination to be understood. The only fault I could find in BALLADS 1 is that all songs are so similar, arguably though not too similar. The albums conformity allows for the lo-fi beats to seamlessly tailor the album into a flowing, cathartic collection. Despite being similar in sound Joji does a great job at still outlining some pretty important themes from mortality to regret, hard to believe this is the same guy who began the trend of the Harlem Shake and terrified us in that pink morphsuit. Despite Joji’s questionable past, this album was made to be added to your favorite sad boy, rainy day playlist. Spending the gloomy day inside? This album is for you.