by Kenny Tschida

Japanese-American singer-songwriter, George Miller, otherwise known as Joji, released his third studio album, Smithereens, on Friday, November 4th, 2022. Miller released another heart-numming album in many ways similar to his last two studio albums, Nectar, and Ballads 1, which would seem to place the same pain he had felt onto you, the listener. 

Surprisingly, the Japanese-American artist got his start via his YouTube channel, Filthy Frank, which would become known as one of the hidden gems of the platform but also an anomaly. Miller frequently would post grotesque comedic videos regarding his many original characters, such as Pink Guy, Salamander Man, etc, or collaborations with other YouTubers at the time like maxmoefoe, iDubbbz, anything4views, and HowToBasic. Miller would end up doing this for roughly seven years until he ended his YouTube career with an EP titled Pink Season: The Prophecy under the alias Pink Guy, one of his formerly mentioned characters. Miller stated he did this to start and follow a passion for creating and producing music, which birthed the Joji we know today. Miller ended up releasing another EP in 2017 titled In Tongues and in 2018 his first studio album Ballads 1.

Rewinding to Smithereens, what’s changed about Joji? How has he evolved as an artist? How does Smithereens relate to his previous work?

Pop Accessibility Rating: 7/10

This album is a well-rounded fit for the modern pop scene. With potential to hold popularity from hype and love for Joji alone. It’s similar enough to his previous albums that it advertises itself, alongside Glimpse of Us hitting a stance of viral on tik-tok for over a month.

Genre Accessibility Rating: 7/10

This album is a decent listen to any alternative pop listener looking to fuel “the feels.” From indie to hip-hop, any average listener could pick this album up and enjoy a majority of the songs offered.

Final Verdict: 6/10

Overall, Smithereens is a good continuation of Joji’s distinct style of a basis on emotion and memories, but this time around it doesn’t capitalize on keeping the listener really in tune with each song. The album starts off really strong with his previously released single, Glimpse of Us, but falls gradually with every next song on the album. The album holds a really short runtime of just 24 mins and 23 secs, leaving the listener somewhat dissatisfied and wanting more.  

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