Joji bears all in ‘Ballads 1’

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George Miller has kept us entertained for nearly seven years both with videos and with music. He initially put off his career as Joji to concentrate on his videos as the popular Filthy Frank. In the last year, he has been able to put his YouTube persona behind him and release an EP and his first studio album.

The album, rightfully named “BALLADS 1,” explores the topic of which ballads are mostly written: love. Listening to it more and more I started to realize that it was not just a romantic love, it encompassed past loves and heartbreak but also love within friendship.

The album begins with “Attention.” It is a familiar sounding tune that matches well with the vibe of brooding and heartbroken. He describes only being able to be happy around one particular person and having a shadow of depression and indifference hang over him.

The brokenhearted-vibe continues into the next song, “Slow Dancing in the Dark.” Toward the end of October, Joji released the music video for “Slow Dancing in the Dark,” which pumped everyone up for the album that we were waiting for. The video was dark and weird, following his usual trend and matching the tone of the song exceedingly well. This has become a fan favorite from the album.

As I continued to listen to the album, it became evident that there was no album flow, each song was different than the next and the transitions were not there. However, this didn’t take away from the album and instead showed that each song was unique in its own right.

Not all the songs on this album were a favorite, though. “Test Drive” was what a lot of people described as a “Post Malone knock-off,” and if you listen to the song, you can kind of hear it. “Wanted U” and “Can’t Get Over You” come right after and are left in the dust by the rest of the album and upstaged by the following song “Yeah Right.”

“Yeah Right” was a single that was released earlier in October. This was my favorite on the album and definitely a song that most people who have ever dealt with heartbreak can relate to. He sings that the girl he loved never cared for him and he’s “gonna party all night” to get over her. This was a hard-hitting song, showing the true struggles that Joji has faced with depression and rejection.

Facing the struggles of friendships can be hard, and he shows that in “No Fun.” Summertime can be hard on some people. Joji explains that as summer comes around, his friends leave one-by-one. He drives around by himself and doesn’t check his mail, keeping to himself. However, this song is more upbeat in comparison to the rest of the album.

Following that, “Come Thru” and “XXNX” get lost in the album as they sound just like your standard SoundCloud Rapper. It is unfortunate, though, that the last few minutes of his album are not as strong as they could be and definitely pale in contrast to the rest of the songs.

All in all, I believe that for a first studio album, Joji did really well. “Ballads 1” marks a growth in his work as a musician and is the beginning for what will hopefully be a long and successful career for George Miller.