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Nectar, Joji Album Review

Joji, arguably the male ‘Billie Eliish’, recently released his second studio album on September 25th, 2020. Overall the album reminds me of American Teen by Khalid with some Taylor Swift’s Folklore. Here is a song by song review for anyone interested in listening to Nectar but is unsure which songs are for them.

EW

This song starts similar to a power ballad, with a repetitive piano melody. The song then transitions, with a similar melody, but this time the drum line takes over. I like the harmony on “this is your world”, his vocal tone is very relaxed and reminds me of Khalid. Later on the song fades into a ‘Young and Beautiful’ by Lana Del Rey similar beat at the end. With violins playing almost sour notes giving a bittersweet note to the song. I would give it a 6/10.

MODUS

My first thought was that it reminds me of Taylor Swift’s Exile, then the chord changes, violins are introduced and finally, the beat drops. This reminds me more of a XXXTENTATION song. “Forgive me I’ve seen the treasures in the blue but right now I’m just not strong enough for you.” Sounds like a clock ticking almost like he’s out of time, though I like it. It has a mysterious vibe to it. Then it revisits the Swift style, intro at the end. I would give it a 6/10.

TICK TOCK

The third song on the Nectar album is upbeat compared to the other songs, with a deeper vocal tone. His voice is lower whereas in the first two songs it was much higher. “As time starts slipping away.. you and I we are one in the same.” The incredibly catchy beat with wistful lyrics such as: “I wish you were here so I could feel som’.” As the song progresses I started to enjoy it more and more. I just want to ask if Miller is okay, this song is very deeply felt toward the end.

*Daylight (ft. Diplo) 

A different vibe compared to it’s predecessor, the suspenseful vibe that feels like I would see it in a coming of age movie are endearing and depressing at the same time. “I dont care if you’ve moved on.. I’ll lay in bed with a..” I really like this too, “And I’ve cried up and down these hallways I blame myself.” Honestly this song is one of my favorites on the album. In my notes I put in all capital letters “SLAPS” so the 8/10 that I gave the song should be of no surprise.

Upgrade

The first chord is beautiful I will say that. Then the beat changes to a minor chord and it gets to be an awkward sound. “I just need you one more time to get it right you know.” He keeps repeating “keep it optional.” I don’t like it to be honest as it’s pretty similar to the first couple songs. I have no idea how to feel about the song, I had written down in my notes that it feels odd to listen to so I’d give it a 2/10.

*Gimme Love

“I ADORE THIS SONG.” My first thought when listening to it. Immediately I was reminded of Tiktok. It got stuck in my head so I listened to it on repeat when the single first came out. It’s a different chorus than the past songs in the album give it a ‘depressing but in happy way’ vibe. The minor chord shift in the chorus gives it intrigue and I like it a ton. “do things turn black and grey as they fall?” the bridge is so pretty, with the echoed “oooos” as it builds up to “caught in a river of records and dreams oh you keep up with me everyone looking for someone to hold but I cant let you go.” The harmonies at the end are what will keep me listening to this song on repeat. 9/10.

*Run

This song reminded me of I See Red by Everybody Loves an Outlaw, a rock song in simple terms. I got so excited because there was no mumble to the words and I could understand everything being said. Though that is a style choice. His voice is raspy and I love it. This song is high key a bop. “Guess I’m not enough like I used to be.” I like this a lot with lyrics like “I know your not in love like you used to be… so you just run.” He knows they don’t have feelings for each other anymore but they are scared to admit it to each other. “I LOVE THE GUITAR PART AT 2:30.” I would check out the song just for the guitar solo at the end. It is that good.  Overall an incredible song. 10/10.

*Sanctuary 

Piano starts the song off again, switching to a(yay!) non mumbling part. It reminds me of the beat to blank space by Taylor Swift with lyrics like “If you’ve been waiting fro falling in love you dont have to wait on me.” “WAIT THIS TOTALLY SLAPS.” The vibe is definitely different but I really like it especially the chorus with his falsetto. It sounds so clean and fits with the vibe: the higher contrast of chorus with the lower beat is blissful. It’s so clear and the bell chime and speaker static ending is really beautiful. 8/10

High Hopes (ft. Omar Apollo)

Right off the bat the beat is very catchy with a guitar intro instead of the piano. A nice change after listening to piano intros on repeat. I noticed that High Hopes is the chorus unto itself. Simply High Hopes in different harmonies. Omar Apollo’s rap reminds me of rapper 6IX9INE which I am unsure whether that is a compliment or not. I would give it a 5/10 on the scale.

NITROUS

“KHALID VIBES” At least for the first 15 seconds. Then the whole song changes to an upbeat but low key  vibe with the same beat the remainder of the song. To be honest there is not much to go on. Though I believe if you are looking for a specific ‘vibe’ to listen to this would be a good bet.

Pretty Boy (ft. Lil Yachty)

Being brutally honest I did not like this song. The introduction sounds almost cheap? for lack of better words. To me the beat and vocal parts don’t mix and create a dissonance. If you are not familiar with the term it is essentially clashing notes that often are not the most pleasant to listen to. If you like to listen to dissonance then you would love this. The bridge with a repeating ‘Hey’ is not my favorite. Rather one of my least favorite parts to the song. Then Lil Yachty’s rap part saves the song. I like it a lot because, it fits with his style; the beat picks up and there is not any dissonance.

Normal People (ft. rei brown)

Normal People reminds me of Rollercoaster by Khalid with a snap like sound that I enjoyed. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it; It’s kind of middle ground for me. Although, the piano parts in the root of every song are kind of annoying me at this point. They fit well with this song but they don’t have to be in EVERY SONG mainly due to the use of very similar chords. I like the lyrics in this song though, still a bit bleak but not in the same scale as other songs on the album. 6/10.

Afterthought (ft. BENEE)

The piano chords are back again. Wonderful. I like the beat to this song though once again very similar to most of the album but in a ‘pretty’ way. “We need you to shine bright when life gets too hard will you stand with me in the moonlight.” In my notes I had it written that “I LOVE BENEE’S VOICE IN THIS SONG. IT TOTALLY FITS”. I completely agree; it seems this song was written more for her and less for Joji. One sound in the root of the song reminds me of the error sound on a Microsoft computer. I found that particularly amusing. Benee’s harmony at the end in a breathy tone is heavenly. One lyric I particularly liked was: “I don’t wanna forget about you” with the beat cutting out at the end. A signature for the beautiful song.  6/10.

Mr. Hollywood

This song reminds me of death bed (coffee for your head) by Powfu at first. The sound of talking through a phone is different and I enjoyed it. Then the transition to clarity is powerful. I like this song it gives me the feels though it’s longer compared to the other songs. I did not find it to be quite sad as the rest of the album. “She said Mr. Hollywood come back soon” repeats a lot but in a good way which I adored. The dreaded piano was brought into the song at the very end. A factor which (at least for me) ruined the song. I would give it a  9/10 purely docking a point for the piano.

777

I would listen to this driving at night because it reminds me of a song that would play in a montage in a cheesy movie. I like this song mainly because of the lack of a piano part and the claps in verse 2 add a differentiation to the song without making it into another song altogether. It’s good so I would give it a 9/10.

Reanimator (ft. Yves Tumor)

This song to me is split up into four parts. The first part and chord reminds me of Dirty Water by Marc. E. Bassy. Then the second part brings back the ‘airplane flying over’ sounds, then a sync (Halloween type) comes in during the third part. The long introduction takes up to 1:30 for the song song to start with the fourth part singing only for 1:15 of the song. I don’t quite know how to feel about the song, it’s different and ‘alien’ like. It felt long but very short short. Out of pure confusion I’d give it a 4.5/10.

Like You Do 

The first chord reminds me of Don’t wanna know by Maroon 5. A good beginning that was ruined by the repetitive piano. Though as the song progresses you can feel the very specific bittersweet tone. Especially with lyrics, “Lost in the blue they don’t love me like you do.” Like You Do and MODUS (from earlier in the album) are very similar. Strangely I also was reminded of Own my Own from Les Misérables. Where my personal knowledge comes in the Falsetto part at the end is pretty but the switch between chest voice and falsetto is very drastic and kinda choppy. Something that should not be noticeable in professional singers. Overall this would be a good sad playlist addition. 8/10.

Your Man 

Okay, this is my favorite song on the album. The intro gives me Harry Styles vibes then transitions without any mumbling or piano. Though the repetitive chord is kinda annoying; in this song I don’t mind it as much as I thought I would. The lyrics such as, “Don’t be down when it’s over baby… I’ll be your man” really stress the emotional response that a listener may be searching for. The repetitive “I’ll be your man” is good and stresses the point. It’s upbeat but still gives you that underwater sensation with a ‘robotic ending that I found to be incredibly fascinating. Overall 10/10 This song slaps.

Overall my opinion on the album, is that it’s good to a point. Each song if you listen to it individually is good but, listening to the whole album at once just points out the repetitive nature and honestly makes you dislike songs you may have otherwise loved. You can listen to the album here!

 

Hello! My name is Hannah Bennett, and I am a Junior here at BHS. This is my first year as the Public Outreach Coordinator and my third year writing for Unleashed. Other than writing I am a second degree black belt in American Kenpo Karate, and I partake in Theatre productions here at BHS. I am looking forward to a great year!

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