Joji’s new album Nectar satisfies listeners with wide range of styles


courtesy 88rising

The cover of Joji’s new Album, Nectar. The album features a wide range of styles from piano ballads to fast-paced tunes.

Japanese singer-songwriter, George Kusunoki Miller, professionally known as Joji, recently released his second studio album entitled Nectar. The album was intended to be released earlier this summer, but was pushed back due to COVID-19, and it was well worth the wait.

Joji is known for his comedic YouTube personas FilthyFrank and Pink Guy, a name under which he made music earlier in his career. In December of 2017, he retired from YouTube in order to pursue his music career. Since then, he has become a force in the music industry. He has earned over 5 million followers on Instagram. Several of his songs have also gone viral on Tik Tok, including “Slow Dancing in the Dark,” which has almost 500,000 streams on Spotify, and “Gimme Love.” 

In an interview with GQ magazine, he revealed the origins of the title. “Originally it was based on finding dead ants in my freezer and joking about calling the album Nectar after that, but I was trying to put a lighter spin on it. At the end of the day, every life form is chasing something.” 

The album itself features 18 tracks, ranging from beautiful piano ballads accompanied by heavenly vocals, to emotionally charged, intense, fast paced tunes. Several other artists are also featured on some tracks, including BENEE on “Afterthought”, Omar Apollo on “Normal People,” and Lil Yachty on “Pretty Boy.”  

The first single, “Sanctuary,” along with an accompanying music video, was released on June 14, 2019, more than a year before the release of the album. The title of the track literally means a safe place, but metaphorically, it refers to Joji’s lover, whom he calls “the sanctuary.” The song depicts his emotions about a potential lover. The music video features visuals similar to the movie series and TV show Star Trek. Joji has woven a sci-fi themed storyline into the three singles “Sanctuary,” “Gimme Love,” and “Run.” 

This is the kind of track that gets you dancing then pondering your existence within a matter of seconds.

“Gimme Love,” the third promotional single, was released in April of 2020. The song quickly went viral on Tik Tok; there are over 600,000 videos made with the sound. It consists of two different parts that are polar opposite in nature. Joji produced the first half, which is fast paced and poppy, while Bēkon and The Donuts produced the second half, which is somber and orchestral. This stark contrast of genres highlights Joji’s incredible vocal range. The second half includes ascendant vocals and emotional piano. This is the kind of track that gets you dancing then pondering your existence within a matter of seconds. 

Track 18, “Your Man,” concludes Nectar. On September 25, the same day as the album release, a music video was dropped on YouTube. The music video follows the same space theme presented in earlier music videos. In the song, Joji comforts his crush after a breakup between her and her previous lover. It only contains three lines, which Joji repeats over and over. 

Compared to Ballads 1 and his earlier works,  Nectar clearly shows Joji’s development as a musician in both lyrical content and style. He maintains aspects of his comedic personality, and even describes the pressures of being a part of the pop industry. Joji is authentic and creative, and he makes music he is proud of. He discusses themes related to love: both the positive and the painful ones.