A lacklustre comeback for Joji
Spencer Yu, Staff Writer
Joji (George Kusunoki Miller) has had one of the most interesting careers in entertainment to date. Going from internet meme lord Filthy Frank to becoming one of the most beloved musical artists in the world. Throughout his music career, he has put out many popular songs including “SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK” and “Glimpse Of Us.” His newest release Smithereens fails to live up to his previous works, however, there is still some enjoyment to be had.
Immediately, I was surprised at how short this album came out to be. The album was over before anything interesting could happen. Compared to his 2020 release Nectar, Smithereens is only a third of the length. I have always felt that it is better to have an album that is shorter and tightly packed with really good songs than to have a very long album with spots of little interest. However, this album is not tightly packed with good songs back to back.
There are some amazing songs on this record like the incredibly popular “Glimpse Of Us” but everything else in between feels really scattered with no real focus other than the ‘sad boi’ vibes that people come to expect from Miller. It is also very unnecessarily split into two disks, this was worth noting because the second disk is notably weaker than the first. The first disk reaches a level of quality that I have come to expect from him. However, the second disk just feels like a mishmash of ideas that aren’t complete. His previous albums definitely had songs that felt lacklustre, however, given that this album is only 20 minutes long with four mediocre songs, this definitely impacts the listening experience.
Millers’ performance is as strong as it has been before but that being said it isn’t anything that is above and beyond what we have heard before. His performance on “Glimpse Of Us” has been touted as being one of his best, but every other track on this album fails to live up to that high. That does not mean that the songs are bad, they just either feel average or incomplete. Not to say that his performance is bad, but the songs themselves lack polish.
This album feels more like a demo disk with a variety of songs on it rather than what it should have been, which is a follow-up to his previous works. I was expecting much more from this project and I hope that this album was just a teaser for what is coming in the future.