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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Joji smashes fan’s hearts to ‘SMITHEREENS’

Courtesy of The Come Up Show via Flickr
Joji at a 2018 performance.

Joji’s third and shortest studio album “SMITHEREENS” was released Nov. 4, two weeks after his North American tour ended, and is a testament to the classic saying “quality over quantity.”

Ringing in at half the size of his previous album “Nectar,” the short nine-song tracklist might have disappointed fans, if it didn’t consist of his best 24 minutes of music to date. 

The breakup album pulls at the listener’s heartstrings and the audience can feel the artist’s strife as he sings for the one he loves — yet seemingly accepts they’re no good together.

Starting with fan favorite and TikTok viral “Glimpse of Us,” the first single and track sets the tone for the melancholy listen without overshadowing the rest of the release.

The album begins with its best songs and trickles down to the perfect closing tracks that could leave listeners with the album on repeat for hours. Many wouldn’t even notice because of how well it blends together.

“Die For You” and “Feeling Like The End” are the shining stars of the album, as both make for the two catchiest tracks. “Die For You” brings together all the right aspects of Joji’s talent. Between the lyrics, the vocals and the background music, it’s an impeccable addition to the tracklist. As the artist croons “I heard that you’re happy without me, and I hope it’s true / you know that I’d die for you” listeners will undoubtedly find themselves thinking about the one they love. 

Though it meets audience’s ears with a different sound, “Feeling Like The End” shows off Joji’s ability to create a great beat with his usual unique background music and lyrics that will be stuck in fans’ heads, as he ironically sings “I’ve waited too long to get your voice out of my head.” 

There are two sides to the album, disc one speaking on the heartbreak Joji’s going through and disc two shifting towards the artist’s acceptance that this relationship is over. The sorrow-filled lyrics mixed with Joji’s signature lo-fi rap sound are a music lover’s dream as Joji, truly a musical jack-of-all-trades, shows off his skills.

“SMITHEREENS” features songs akin to old fan favorites from his first studio album like “Window” and “I Don’t Wanna Waste My Time,” reminding fans that the masterful musician can produce instrumentals unlike any other.

The first track on the b side of the album, “NIGHT RIDER” comes in with a classic catchy Joji beat as he turns his vocals to rap for the first half of the track, showing that he can do both impressively well. The second half of the song goes back to his sweet singing before ending with the same beat the song begins with, effortlessly blending two different sounds together.

The tracks on the b side of the album feel more upbeat which is ironic as these tracks are Joji attempting to make last-ditch efforts to make it work. This message may be hard to miss though, as these four tracks primarily pay homage to Joji’s catchy and unique beats. 

“YUKON (INTERLUDE),” the second single and second to last track on the album seems to be the most accepting song, as Joji sings “Thank God, I was always healing / In a time so slow, I was thinking ’bout us rearranging pieces”

Surprisingly, the final track “1AM FREESTYLE,” brings the downtempo sound back. We see the artist’s struggles he tried to ignore through acceptance that the relationship is over as he sings “And I’m Tired Of This Madness / Tired Of Being Stranded / I Don’t Wanna Be Alone.”

This track ties up the album in a perfect bow, bringing all the emotions full circle. The order the artist chose is exactly why the album can be played on a seamless loop as listeners go through all the ups and downs of losing someone they wanted it to work with.

“SMITHEREENS” is available for streaming on all music platforms.

Follow Abby on Twitter @astreabbs.

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About the Contributor
Abby O'Connor, Arts & Entertainment Editor | she/her
Abby is a senior majoring in print/web journalism and minoring in english. When she's not writing for the Journal, you can find her sipping a cup of coffee either reading or playing video games. She also enjoys spending time with her dog and going on hikes. Music and arts is her passion and she hopes to find a job writing about what she loves. Follow Abby on Twitter @astreabbs Email her at [email protected]

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Joji smashes fan’s hearts to ‘SMITHEREENS’