Joji is an artist that has seemingly snuck his way into the lime light. With a relatively small music catalog, he has amassed a cult following that will fight tooth and nail to defend anything that he releases, the most recent being Ballads 1.Only recently discovering his content, I went into my analysis of Ballads 1 completely blind. So, the question on my mind was simple after the introduction, is this going to be another lousy reach, by another artist that wants to be the edgiest?
To get the negatives out of the way first, I think there are many forgettable tracks on the project. I only found myself going back to songs like: “WANTED U”, “XNXX”, and in my opinion, the best song on the entire project “WHY AM I STILL IN LA”. Joji is an artist that thrives on tugging at the strings to your heart, and without glorifying sadness and sorrow he does not have much image at all. The songs that I did not like seem to be reaching too far to achieve this aesthetic, or are too pop oriented. I think this limited range hurts the project. Joji seems very creative and diverse, yet it seems that he is afraid to stray away from something that doesn’t have an existentialist sadness to it.
Now the positives, I actually think the songs that I mentioned going back to are amazing. Joji hit my emotions in depths that I am afraid to reach without music. I think that with more time to perfect his craft, and making smart business decisions Joji can be a force in the industry. To answer the question I asked previously, I do think this project is a bit of a reach. Not every track was deserving to be on the same track list as “WHY AM I STILL IN LA”. The beautiful thing about being a fresh artist is having time to find your sound, and to mold it until you have something special. Joji is not far away from this point early in his music career, and I am excited to hear what Joji brings in the future.