Joji’s SMITHEREENS Album Review

Image released by Warner Records.

Image released by Warner Records.

Olivia Kaspari

On November 4th, 2022, George Miller, better known as Joji, released his new album SMITHEREENS, which quite literally sent all of his fans into smithereens. However, he wasn’t always known for his music, as he started out as a character named Filthy Frank on YouTube in 2008. As Filthy Frank, he was a comedic YouTube genius that frequently posted videos of him in his typical Pink Guy dressups. In his Pink Guy costume, he would do normal things such as cooking, singing, and rapping but with comedy.

Eventually, Filthy Frank had evolved into Joji after retiring from YouTube in 2017. In pursuing a music career in R&B/Soul music, he released his debut album Ballads 1, which featured his most popular song to this day; “Slow Dancing in the Dark”. His songs quickly became internet sensational and gained lots of traction on TikTok. Prior to his production of Ballads 1 was his album In Tongues (Deluxe), which featured less prominent songs that he produced while he was deciding to pursue his music career. Shortly after in 2020, Joji produced Nectar, which had another very popular song named “Gimme Love” that had also gone viral on TikTok. 

With his introduction to his new album SMITHEREENS, Joji had released his now 2nd most popular song “Glimpse of Us”, which describes the experience of thinking about a past partner despite having a new one. Overall, the whole album best depicts the feelings of trying to pick up the pieces after going through a heartbreak. SMITHEREENS deals with two different sides after heartbreak; side A wanting to reconcile with a past love, while side B is the aftermath of the failed reconciliation.

When I first listened to the album, it wasn’t what I had expected (in a good way). I thought there would be more upbeat songs similar to his album Nectar. However all of the songs had sad undertones and were slow paced throughout- with the only somewhat fast paced song on the album being “Feeling Like The End”. This album is unlike any of Joji’s prior albums, as it took away the comedic undertones that he used to keep due to his comedic presence on YouTube. 

A few of the songs I had thoroughly enjoyed in this album were “Die For You”, “Before The Day Is Over”, and “1 AM FREESTYLE”. All of these songs had beautiful lyrics that describe the pain of moving on after a breakup, and are all seemingly relatable to teenage relationships, which is likely why the majority of his audience consists of teenagers. The most underrated song on this album is definitely “1AM FREESTYLE”, most likely because the title isn’t necessarily click-worthy and it’s the last song, but the beat and saddening lyrics by far make it the best song and a great way to end the album. 

Picking a song to not like is difficult with this album, but in comparison to the other songs I didn’t particularly enjoy “BLAHBLAHBLAH DEMO” as much, despite the lyrics aligning well with the theme of the album, the beat itself is just repetitive and not as slow paced and enjoyable/exciteful as the rest of SMITHEREENS. Despite this, it’s hard to pinpoint any other negatives on the album because this album is considerably very good with both its painful lyrics and R&B/Soul throughout the album. Overall, the album begins with the hit song “Glimpse of Us” and ends with the great song “1AM FREESTYLE”, making SMITHEREENS arguably the best Joji album produced.