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  • Henry Nulf

Review: George Miller (Joji) ‘BALLADS 1’

Internet personality George Miller, aka Joji, is a relatively new name in the music industry. Spending a majority of the decade building up one of the most popular and raunchy YouTube channels of all time, through his alter ego Filthy Frank, Miller’s content (before entirely switching lane) included eating a cake made of hair, rapping in a pink body suit, and making fun of pretty much everybody on the planet. His content got so outrageous that, listening to this new album filled with songs of heartbreak and despair, doesn’t even feel as though it’s from the same person.

In a similar vein to his previous release, “BALLADS 1” is a moody album. At this point in his career Joji seems to have found himself a formula of melodramatic backdrops coated in dreary vocals. And while it largely continues here, this time around tracks also feature newelements. Various songs take on heavy trap in uence, “Can’t Get Over You” is the most upbeat a Joji song has likely ever been, and “Wanted U” even features a surprise shredding guitar solo during the climax.

Although the record is progressive for Joji musically, it does suffer from numerous faults. While experimental as far as Joji’s individual musicianship goes, it remains predictable. The production often falls at, especially on “Why Am I Still In LA” in which the breakdown feels like the listening equivalent of getting caught in a meat grinder. Additionally, “I’ll See You In 40” while featuring a beautiful soaring ukulele and other instrumentals, essentially goes nowhere, and is almost completely forgotten by its end.

Overall, “BALLADS 1” is a decent effort filled with a lot of pretty sounds, but little to no substance. It is, however, especially with all the attention it’s gathering, a solid step toward a bright career to come.

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