Joji’s album “Nectar” is kind of bitter

“Nectar” album cover, Courtesy of Pintrest.com

“Nectar” album cover, Courtesy of Pintrest.com

Amy Iheme, Opinion Editor

Gaining immense popularity from the famous social media app TikTok with Joji’s single “Can’t Get Over You” from his first studio album “Ballads 1” and “Gimme Love” from his most recent album, “Nectar,” multi-genre artist Joji, formally known as Filthy Frank or Pink Guy on YouTube, released his second studio album “Nectar” on September 25, 2020– and it couldn’t be more melodramatic. I won’t object though, since that is his style of music. There are songs on the album that I would voluntarily play such as, “Sanctuary,” “Pretty Boy feat. Lil Yatchy,” “Gimme Love” and “Afterthought,” just to name a few. 

“Ew” introduces the 18 track album with it’s ode to breakups. Joji eloquently wails about how his past relationships have failed him and how he wants to find “The One.” You can really tell he is over heartbreak by the sound of the overdone orchestra. No, seriously. I don’t know if I was so disinterested in the song that I wasn’t paying attention to the lyrics, but the orchestra is so overbearing that by the time I did start paying attention to lyrics I heard, “No one will be here to save you,                        

and no one will be here to let you know.” Let me know what? I don’t know. I will say that the key changes at the 0:50 second mark do make up for the shrilling violins. The classical music at the 2:32 mark is a nice way to wrap up the song. Overall, I would give this song a 6/10. Fun Fact: Listeners of this album speculate that the song title “Ew” means “Love” since the word for love in Vietmenese is “Yeu” pronounced “ew.” This is a cool easter egg, and this theory wouldn’t be too far-fetched. 

Similar to another song on the “Nectar” track list, “MODUS” encapsulates the pressures from the music industry as they try to mould Joji into a popstar. The former YouTube sensation was not only clever with the camera, but with his lyrics as well. The lyric “I wanna be a Chevy not a Sentra” references not only his ethnicity but where he wants to be in his career. A Chevy is a strong, durable American brand while the company Nissan is a Japanese owned brand. Joji not only uses this lyric to talk about where he wants to be in the music industry, but how he prefers his American persona over his Japanese counterpart.

Song cover of “Daylight” feat. Diplo, Courtesy of shorefire.com

Fans of Joji were introduced to “Run” shortly after Joji formally released this as a single after his first album “BALLADS 1”’s debut. On the track, “Run”, Joji sings about him being distraught over his lover being with another, and is left with no other choice but to abandon, or “run,” from his emotions. Out of all the songs on the album about relationships and love, I think this song has to be the most coherent and the most enjoyable. Joji’s style of music typically has a melancholy tone, per his last album “BALLADS 1,” but this song was not too overbearing. The rock melody really completes Joji’s vocals and the electric guitar solo wraps up the song very nicely. Overall, I would rate this song a 10/10. 

“Pretty Boy” featuring Lil Yatchy, for some obscure reason, reminds me of a 90’s Nickelodeon TV show– probably because of the playful adlibs during the break and the heavy use of synthesizers during Lil Yatchy’s verse. Yatchy and Joji verse their internal anger not shown by the public versus their Hollywood personas. The buoyant beat, however, distracts from the critical lyrics given by the two men singing about how draining the industry actually is. For example, “I’m a pretty boy livin’ on the West side/Livin’ so loud, you could never hear me cry, nay-ay/ See no tears run down my eyes (Run down my eyes).” I think this one speaks for itself. Yachty steps out of his usual rapping style and gives a great delivery on this song, which proves his versatility. My only criticism about this song is the voiceover of the fictional country character hacking up a ball of spit while his partner follows up with “…Whew, Nice shot!” Hacking up spit was the deal breaker for me. Overall I would give this song a 7/10. 

In my opinion, this album is a solid 7.9/10. I love the talents that Joji has to offer but I think my ear for music has changed a bit. I don’t dislike the album, but I feel like I would appreciate it more if I went through a similar heartbreak that he sang about– he definitely does a great job of making you resent or appreciate the lover he sings about.