Frank not so filthy anymore

Written By Chandni Shah, Copy Desk Chief

4.5/5 Globes


Alternative R&B artist Joji, recently released his second studio album “Nectar” this past week on Sept. 25. Like many albums this year, the original release date July 10, 2020 was pushed back due to the coronavirus. 

The album includes singles “Sanctuary,” “Run,” “Gimme Love” and “Daylight.” As well as features from Omar Apollo, BENEE, rei brown, Yves Tumor and Lil Yachty, with a collaboration from Diplo. Compared to his previous album, “BALLADS 1,” Joji has matured in both his lyricism and sound throughout this new production. 

“Nectar” is a compilation of the old lo-fi sounds of “BALLADS 1” and a new alternative take on the pop genre. The listener finds themselves in a labyrinth of emotional songs and the highs and lows of the singer trying to find love. Although the album starts off with a hopeless mood, by the end we are left with a more upbeat song telling us “don’t be down when it’s over.”

The synthy sounds and resonating vocals are what make “Nectar” a memorable album. With tracks like “Run” and “Ew” it’s hard not to praise Joji for his beautiful tones and maybe even cry along to the noteworthy lyricism throughout. On my favorite track of the album “Sanctuary” Joji sings “If you’ve been waitin’ for fallin’ in love/Babe, you don’t have to wait on me/’Cause I’ve been aimin’ for Heaven above/But an angel ain’t what I need” an emotional chorus for an equally emotional instrumental.

Anthony Fantano, a popular music critic on Youtube, rates it a “strong six” out of ten noting that “with this project [Nectar] I think we do hear an artist hitting his highest highs so far, but simultaneously struggling to find out what to do in between those moments to maintain interest and tension.” For Fantano, the tracks themselves would flow better if Joji connected them with more cohesive instrumental transitions.

In the past, Joji’s online personas “Filthy Frank” and “Pink Guy” did not set him up in a favorable light, but with the integrity and easy-to-love nature of his new music it is painless to forgive the artist for past mistakes. 

Overall, the album reminds me of a perfect bedroom beats playlist that can equally serve as “in your bag” music as well as background music to writing a paper. Joji does an excellent job of balancing his vocals with his involved instrumentals: heavy guitar sounds and light piano chords litter the entire project. No matter what kind of genre you normally listen to, this album will resonate with whoever listens to it.

Standouts on the album include “Sanctuary,” “Afterthought,” “Pretty Boy,” “Gimme Love” and “Daylight,” many of them the singles on the record.