Joji’s new album “SMITHEREENS” fails to deliver after long wait

Nine-track album doesn’t live up to expectations

Fair use from Genius.

Fair use from Genius.

Scott Schmidt

“SMITHEREENS” by Joji just dropped after a two-year-long wait. After his last album, “Nectar,” this album feels unfinished and anticlimactic. With two singles dropping this past year hyping up the album, this is a real let down compared to his previous project. The songs on this album are mostly good, but with a runtime of 24 minutes this project feels incomplete.

Going into “SMITHEREENS,” the first track, “Glimpse of Us,” is a beautiful start. When this track dropped in June of this year, it was monumental. This is his best song, telling the story of Joji meeting someone else, but being stuck in the glimpse of his past and not being able to fully move on. I would say this is the best track on this album and really brings up the first volume of this project.

The next song is “Feeling Like The End,” which is a perfect case of this project being incomplete. This song starts off strong with a melodic and charming beat, which transfers into a faster-paced pop song. This song also has a good and easy story with Joji reminiscing about a relationship he has that he can feel is coming to an end. But right when he gets into it, it just ends out of nowhere.

The next track “Die For You,”  picks up from the last track and comes at you with this dreamy and endless beat. This song feels like being in a starry void floating around. “Die for You” talks about Joji moving on from a relationship, with lines like, “Burning photos, Had to learn to let go.” But he is still there for his ex, saying, “I heard that you’re happy without me, And I hope that’s true … You know I’d still die for you.”

Another track to talk about is “BLAHBLAHBLAH DEMO” — this song is so boring. It feels like it’s just repeating the same slow and boring beat over and over again. It feels like Joji is talking about nothing, matching the title of its repetition. This is the low point of the album before it picks itself back up.

The last two tracks finish out the album strongly with “YUKON (INTERLUDE)” and “1AM FREESTYLE.” “YUKON” was the other single being released prior to the album, furthering the hype for this project. This track is much different from what Joji has done in the past, the beat and overall flow of this track feels futuristic and otherworldly, like you’re melting away. I think this track is great but I don’t understand why it’s an interlude. It would have made more sense to not split this album in two and have “YUKON” in the middle, if it were to be an interlude.

Moving past the short runtime and long wait for this album, “SMITHEREENS” is a good piece of music, but the lack of material feels like Joji is taking a step back. His previous album “Nectar” was good but more mainstream. I do think fans of Joji’s earlier work like “Ballads 1” and “In tongues” will appreciate this project for what it is.  


Highlights: “Glimpse of Us, Die For You, 1AM FREESTYLE. 

 Low points: BLAHBLAHBALH DEMO, Before The Day is Over, Dissolve.