Sharp Notes: Joji’s “Smithereens”

Joji’s newest release “SMITHEREENS” is a short but sweet album that reminds fans of just how talented he is.

Graphic by Kaia McClure

Joji’s “SMITHEREENS” has been highly anticipated by fans since the release of his 2020 album “Nectar.” He released the single “Glimpse of Us” in June to get everyone excited for what was to come. The single comes first on the album’s tracklist.

This project acts as another reminder of the talent Joji possesses. As in his past albums, he continues to showcase his precise attention to detail and undeniable dedication to the art of music-making. Joji has flawlessly crafted another unique soundscape and intricate atmosphere for “SMITHEREENS.

The Nov. 4 release is split into two parts. Side A has five tracks that deal “with wanting to reconcile with a past love,” while the four songs on Side B are “the aftermath of the failed reconciliation.” (Apple Music).

The heavily forlorn tracks in Side A represent the pain and heartbreak Joji is feeling as he struggles to come to terms with his breakup. In the second song, “Feeling Like The End,” he sings “You used to promise me it would be forever / Feeling like the end, don’t think it will get better, baby.” Anyone who has had their heart broken could likely resonate with his distraught words and the melodic and unique beat makes the song appealing on all fronts.

Side B of the album features somewhat more lighthearted tracks as Joji is beginning to accept what has happened. The second to last song on the album, “YUKON (INTERLUDE),” says “Thank God, I was always healing / in a time so slow, I was thinking ‘bout us rearranging pieces.” Although he is admittedly still hurting from his loss, Joji acknowledges that he is starting to heal. The tune of this song gets quicker and notably more upbeat. When compared to the tracks in Side A, Side B makes it evident that he is beginning to get better.

For anyone familiar with Joji’s past YouTube persona, Filthy Frank, it may come as a repeated surprise that someone famous for his edgy humor and controversial videos can produce such intimate and melancholy ballads about love and loss.

Joji’s music style can be described as trip-hop and a lo-fi blend of trap, folk, electronic and R&B elements. He never fails to produce hit songs with relatable and catchy yet simplistic lyricism. His past hits include “Gimme Love” from 2020’s “Nectar” and “YEAH RIGHT” from his 2018 album “BALLADS 1.” His songs have a history of gaining popularity on the internet and have even pioneered various social media trends throughout his music career.

You can stream Joji’s “SMITHEREENS” on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, and most other major music streaming services. You can purchase his CDs, cassette tapes, and other merchandise in stores or on Joji’s official website.

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