Album Review: Smithereens by Joji

Written by on December 12, 2022

Joji, a Japanese singer-songwriter recently released his third album on November 4th called Smithereens. After listening to his album, I would consider it to be a tribute to his losses and triumphs in love. The album is divided into two sections with the first being his ballads while the other is labeled as lo-fi music. This is immensely shown in his singles released before the entire album was out.

Side A is about the desire to go back to a past love. Where the single that was first released is “Glimpse of Us” embodying that feeling. The entirety of the song is about how even though he is in a new relationship he still thinks about his old love. With lyrics of “Why then, if she is so perfect, do I still wish that it was you?” ending the verse with a melancholic voice stating “Perfect don’t mean it is working, so what can I do?”  Relaying the message through the songs “Feeling like the End” and “Before the Day is Over.”

In Side B of the album, he shares his experience after the failure of trying to go back to past lovers. The lead single for this side to be “YUKON (INTERLUDE),” a fast-paced ballad. While listening to this song I can not help but envision Joji driving fast down the highway. The experience of not having something go his way creates a sense of defeat for the listener to resonate with.

Ending this side with “1AM FREESTYLE” which is a result of all the experiences compiled together. Where the artist is grieving for the defeated relationships. Shown in the words he used “I’ve been playing memories in my mind wishing you were there, like all the time so I’m not alone.” Closing with singing “And I’m tired of this madness, tired of being stranded I do not wanna be alone.”

Overall throughout all of Joji’s albums, this one feels the most meaningful. His previous album Nectar in my perspective gave his listeners the understanding that someone can still have fun in their life while being sad simultaneously. While this album is very intimate and personal where it takes a lot for a person to share their experiences with love and loss.

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