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Album Review: 'SMITHEREENS' is a soundtrack to heartbreak – The Post

by Nov 10, 2022Blog0 comments

The man behind this generation’s sad anthems has returned with more music to soundtrack your latest heartbreak. 
The album titled, “SMITHEREENS” sees two sides of Joji’s musical style, the first being a more produced, polished sound with lyrics reflecting heartbreak, whereas the second shows a looser, more raw and honest style. 
The first side also has his single “Glimpse of Us,” a heartbreaking song for all of those who have jumped into a new relationship in order to get over their last one, only to find that a new love cannot make up for an old one. The song also showcases the versatility of the singer, replacing synthy lo-fi sounds with simple piano notes.
Both the sentiment of heartbreak and missing an ex as well as the growing versatility carry throughout the album. The song “Die for You” is a perfect example. The more poetic lyricism shows a new maturity in his writing style. 
However, the message of being willing to die for someone you’re not longer with is not lost in the prose, with emotional gut punches being delivered throughout the song, such as, “Burning photos, had to learn to let go, I used to weep, somebody in another skin,” or “It kills me a little, that’s okay, ‘cause I’d die for you, you know I’d still die for you”. 
The musical maturity, however, shines through on the track “Dissolve,” in which the familiar hip-hop sound is replaced by a guitar drenched in reverb. It combines the more tech-oriented elements of his past work with a more acoustic style, giving it a fresh sound for listeners to enjoy.
The second side of “SMITHEREENS”, though, makes a complete 180 into a more raw, DIY sound. 
“BLAHBLAHBLAH DEMO” is a great example of this, with a more simplistic sound of a synthesized beat, simple bassline, and auto-tuned vocals, giving it an overall more bedroom hip-hop style.
“YUKON INTERLUDE” is another perfect example of this. Another synthesized beat is combined with piano notes, harkening back to the Japanese-Australian singer's roots. However, the lyrics steal the show here, with a combination of both tangible things and abstract concepts being explored in the song. 
He explains a night spent driving around town in fast cars, such as the all-white truck and the all-black Demon he describes. However, there is anxiety underneath the coolness of fast cars, where he describes the thought that he “can’t be forever young” and the fact that he was “thinking ‘bout us rearranging pieces.” The song explains the anxiety attached to youth and the desire to cling to past relationships. 
Overall, Joji showcases a musical and lyrical maturity whilst briefly returning to his SoundCloud-esque roots, creating an album of melancholic sad songs to soundtrack your latest heartbreak.