Joji releases his fourth studio album



Joji just released his fourth studio album on November 4, 2022, titled “SMITHEREENS.”

George Kusanoki Miller, known professionally as “Joji,” is a Japanese singer, songwriter, and rapper that just released his fourth studio album on November 4, 2022, titled “SMITHEREENS.”

Joji incorporates an extensive blend of genres in his music, but his sound is mostly centered around R&B and alt-pop elements. “SMITHEREENS” is no exception, ranging from up-tempo songs to harrowing ballads, another regularity in Joji’s works. 

At 24 minutes, “SMITHEREENS” is a sharp contrast to his previous three albums which were much longer. Two singles, the gloomy “Glimpse of Us,” and a more frenetic track titled ‘YUKON (INTERLUDE)’ were released prior to the album’s release as sneak peeks.

The first track on the album, “Glimpse of Us,” features Joji’s continuous negative comparison between his current and previous relationships. This song sets the tone of the entire album, establishing the main themes behind the tracks: moving on after heartbreak and picking up the pieces after a lost love. 

The eloquent opener is backed up well by the second and third tracks, “Feeling Like the End,” and “Die For You.” The second track sees Joji reminisce on things he and a lover have done together in a relationship, realizing that their time together is coming to an end. It is backed by sanguine instrumentals but ends relatively abruptly.

The third is more lyrically intense, detailing Joji’s willingness to give everything he has to someone, even his life, long after they’ve parted ways. In this song, Joji finds himself struggling to move on from this individual. The instrumental creates a sullen mood, backed with sorrowful lyrics, and is a personal favorite track among listeners. 

In the tracks that follow, we see similar themes of relationships ending, being without each other, and moving on from these grievances.  

The album closes off with ‘1AM FREESTYLE,’ where a complementary dissonant piano backs Joji’s vocals as he sings about not believing that his partner can survive by themselves when they part, trying to convince them that they will be alone without him. The instrumental pause within creates a tender moment, showing Joji’s advanced musical ability before ending off the album in a somber moment of transparency, completely turning around the meaning of the song. 

“SMITHEREENS” started strong with Joji’s well-received ‘Glimpse of Us,’ a melancholic track that made it to No. 8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 songs chart with the help of fans. The album in its entirety reached No. 1 on Top Rock & Alternative Albums chart. Despite its commercial success, the album is underwhelming in comparison to his previous works. More content within would make this album much better. While the atmospherical aspect of each song is good, the album’s total play time is too short.