Joji – Nectar

Evan McHenry

First known for his provocative “Filthy Frank” YouTube persona, George Miller has released his second studio album, “Nectar,” under his more serious “Joji” alias. This album follows up on 2018’s “BALLADS 1,” a solid take on soul-felt RnB with trip-hop influence. 

“Nectar” builds on Miller’s previous work; the instrumentals are more dynamic and complex, and he shows a slightly more versatile vocal range. The album has a lengthy tracklist at 18 total songs, but the individual tracks tend to be on the shorter side. With this brevity, Miller doesn’t have time to dwell on any one sound for too long. The album opens with the spectacular track, “Ew.” The title is ironic, as the song is one of the most grand and dramatic on the whole album. Backed by piano and violin lines, Miller’s chorus is in a falsetto. “Teach me to love just to let me go,” he sings, almost straining his voice. These lyrics reflect general themes on the album: inadequacy and unrequited affection, things present on Miller’s previous album, too. “Pretty Boy” has a strong feature from Lil Yachty, with the rapper’s trademark auto tuned vocals accompanying a catchy synthetic instrumental. “Afterthought” also has a feature, this time from the singer BENEE, whose plaintive and regret-laden lyrics echo the mood of the album. Some high points on the album include “Sanctuary,” “Run,” “777” and “Like You Do.” The other tracks, for the most part, are enjoyable but forgettable. 

With such a large tracklist, listeners may feel slightly daunted. The album feels like a strong meditation on personal uneasiness and even grief. However, at points Miller’s lyrics can seem cliched and miss their target. Miller has yet to fully step out of his niche as an artist, and he still employs many of the same old tricks from “BALLADS 1” on this album. Luckily for him, these tricks are good ones, but some more artistic dynamicism on his next project would be welcome. 

3.5/5 anchors