Joji Blows the Charts to Smithereens

Photo of Joji performing at Head In The Clouds.

Photo of Joji performing at Head In The Clouds.

Mateo Hunter, Reporter

The fall of 2022 has been a very exciting time for fans of all kinds of music. In order to put their best foot forward in competing for the title of album of the year, which is decided in February 2023,  many top artists are currently releasing albums. Joji, a Japanese-American songwriter, is among these artists. His most recent album, Smithereens, was released on November 4, 2022, giving his loyal fans yet another taste of his unique lo-fi, R&B feel. The album sold over fifty thousand copies within the first week and has accumulated over ten million views on YouTube. With this growing popularity, Chamblee High School students have a lot to say about the album and Joji as an artist.

Ryan Foley (‘23) has been a fan of Joji’s since his freshman year of high school and has been waiting for Smiterinees since the release of the single,  “Glimpse of Us”, earlier this year. With his expectations fairly high, he was slightly disappointed by one particular aspect of the album.

“I wish [the album] was a little longer than nine songs, which really isn’t that long considering the fact that the last album [Nectar] was 18 songs,” said Foley.

Joseph Rodriguez (‘24) is another long-time Joji fan that agrees that Smithereens lacked in some areas. He believes that the flow of the album was off.

“I find that he just couldn’t really make a cohesive project with a singular theme and it’s just all over the place,” said Rodriguez.

Foley offered that the album had a solid story and theme on all of the tracks.
“Obviously with “Glimpse of Us” coming out in June, that was a hint as to what we’d be getting. I really feel like it stands out because it does bring you into the storyline of the album with him talking about his relationship,” said Foley.

Noah Jones (‘23) has been a Joji fan since the release of his 2020 album, Nectar. His review of the album was a high 7 and he favors certain songs on the album greater than the rest. When asked about his favorite song, he could not pick between two in particular.

“Probably Either  “1AM FREESTYLE” or “NIGHT RIDER”,” said Jones.

Nicholas Chan (‘25) is a new Joji listener. He plans on listening to more of his songs after trying out his most recent album and states that certain songs made him want to listen to more of Joji’s music.

“I really like “Die For You”. “1AM FREESTYLE” is also pretty good, “ said Chan.

Chan also seemed to know his least favorite song with a certain reason to back his claim.

“Definitely “Before The Day Is Over”, it just isn’t that great. While still a beautiful song like the others, I just don’t think it delivers as much,” said Chan.

Jones agrees with Chan and offers some insight of his own.

“I guess my least favorite track would be “Before The Day Is Over”. It felt a little unfinished, a little rushed to me,” said Jones.

Jones states that this album has a different stylistic feel than his previous albums. This change in style convinced him that Smithereens was a great addition to Joji’s discography.

“[Joji’s style] has changed a lot. Ballads had this, this creepy, experimental kind of sound while this one has a way more futuristic and Pop-y sound, and I still really like it,” said Jones.

Rodiguez was disappointed with the album overall. He gave his final remarks on how Smithereens affects Joji’s discography.

“If he releases more albums, that album will probably be always at the bottom half of his discography as it’s not the best thing he has released. I’m not saying it’s horrible, I just feel like a 20-minute, nine-song album with really sloppy songs will affect his discography a lot unless he does a really big album,” said Rodiguez.

With mixed reviews from the students of Chamblee High School, the album still managed to reach number one on Billboard’s Alternative Album Chart. It seems that people are undecided on where this album stands in terms of Joji’s art and as time passes what will come from his career. Still, when asked, Chamblee High School fans are excited to see what he has in store for the future.