The singer’s sophomore album shows immense progression since ‘BALLADS 1’
After what has felt like an eternity, Joji’s depressive crooning is finally back. With nearly two years since his debut album, BALLADS 1, the artist took the time to reflect on himself in lyrics and continue to improve his mystifying falsetto that garners the attention of everyone within earshot.
Nectar shows Joji overcoming many of the struggles he dealt with on his previous album. Both lyrically and sonically, he seems to have a much higher level of confidence in himself, his music and his talent in the music industry.
When bringing outside acts in such as Lil Yachty and Omar Apollo as featured artists, he still manages to stand out from them and attract listeners himself. However, we do find the supporting acts performing some of their best verses in years (Yves Tumor, rei brown).
One of the most common complaints with his debut album was the long, dull stretch of music in the LP’s second half that dragged on. This time around, at 18 tracks and just under an hour-long, there was plenty of room for error while still blessing his fans with some top tier “sad boy” music. Surprisingly, Joji refrains from delivering any dull tracks as the album is a glorious plea for help from start to finish.
Some of the top tracks on the project include the emotional ballad “Gimme Love,” album opener “Ew,” and the alternative-pop track “Sanctuary.” Some of the deepest lyrics arise on his semi-sequel to hit track “SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK,” titled “Mr. Hollywood,”
On the track, Joji croons “Ooh, I just wanna lay right by your side / We don’t gotta love each other right / We just gotta make it through the night / You don’t gotta say / You’re not into me no more / When we pass out on the floor / See the sunrise through the door.”
While the artist spent time improving his lyrical content and voice over the past two years, he still tends to stick to the same production techniques as a whole. Despite having a wide array of producers on the project ranging from Kenny Beats (Dominic Fike) to The Donuts (SZA), the production is filled with his usual lo-fi bass, rattling drums, and symphonic strings.
Joji has gone through some form of musical and personal rediscovery that trickles into this project. It shows us just how far he’s come since he entered the music industry and his beginning as a viral sensation on YouTube. There’s no doubt that the sad boy sensation Joji’s album will tide his fans over for years to come.