Joji - In Tounges Album Review
Whether you find George Miller’s sense of humor intelligent or drivel, you cannot deny the man’s creative drive. Few creators and artists have created such beloved and at the same time hated art like Miller has at the level of consistency and uniqueness Miller has. Whether it be his satirical YouTube videos as Filthy Frank or his comedy music output as Pink Guy, you can always rely on Miller to come through with something that’s eccentric.
That is until the release of his first EP In Tongues under his R&B and lo-fi hip hop moniker Joji. Early singles dropped by Joji such as “you suck charlie” and “thom” featured an entertaining blend of fun yet smooth vocals over Nujabes inspired beats, breaking through the lo-fi hip hop wall of releases as finely as a surgeon. Save for the final track, In Tongues completely lacks these qualities that garnered Miller so much buzz in the first place.
Instead, Joji approaches this project with the same approach so many Soundcloud beat producers approach the genre of lo-fi hip hop. Crisp, catchy percussion serves as the bedrock for Joji to play with jazz samples that inconsistently range from uplifting to dry. While these artistic choices certainly capture the melancholic emotional state Joji is aiming for, it does do so in a way that thousands of lo-fi songs have done before, and with more bravado.
Lyrically the album fairs a tad better. While the first three tracks retread the same themes of falling out of love that have been explored in R&B ad-nausea for 30 years, they at least do so slyly and with some fairly clever wordplay. The run of tracks between “Window” and the final track “Worldstar Money (Interlude)” are much more introspective, with Miller admitting with honesty his conflicting wants and desires.
In Tongues is not a bad project. It’s at the same quality of other internet-popular lo-fi hip hop projects and will more than likely be a hit with those who aren’t familiar with the genre. However, the lack of unique style and eccentricities makes this album feel more like a missed opportunity than a safe or solid first release. In Tongues feels like a blueprint for something that could have been built upon into something truly its own given Miller’s talent. Instead, In Tongues fails to achieve anything greater than other releases in its genre.
Chandler Copenheaver is a senior majoring in public relations. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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Senior / Public Relations