Review: Joji — In Tongues

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 at 3:01 PM
Review: Joji — In Tongues by Livia Homerski

Rating: ★★★☆☆

If you commonly partake in the world internet memes, you may have seen things like the Harlem Shake dance craze, “It’s Time to Stop!” and a man wearing a pink morph suit. These are all creations of George Miller’s, an internet entertainer who has been crossing into music entertainment for the past few years.

Miller’s first releases synthesized music and comedy under the moniker of Pink Guy, a character from his “Filthy Frank” YouTube channel. “Pink Guy” (2014), “Pink Season” (2017), and “Pink Season: The Prophecy” (2017) are comedy-hip hop albums sopping with irony and absurdity, much like the “Filthy Frank Show.”

On SoundCloud, Miller released the “Chloe Burbank Volume 1” mixtape along with several other lo-fi singles, which is what “In Tongues,” the latest EP created under his other moniker, Joji, echoes the most.

The first single released from “In Tongues” was “Will He?” The track hosts a trap beat with an R&B atmosphere and vocals while the lyrics hold moody undertones. Joji is in his bag; this song is brooding and dramatic.

“Demons” has my favorite and least favorite moment on the EP. The melody of the chorus sounds too close to Zayn Malik and Taylor Swift’s “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” for comfort. In addition to that, the vocals sound strangled at that part, and the layering does not help the situation. The end of “Demons” is what I was hoping to hear more of from the album, however.  The piano keys click softly and resonates between Miller’s soulful (unlayered) voice and faint whimpers; it’s a moment to be swept away. 

We see more of an emo/alternative side of Joji in “Bitter F***” with dingey finger picking and a simplistic hip hop beat. “Bitter” echoes through the chorus in a taunting way, but the song doesn’t wallow. It’s a shrug of the shoulders for Joji; he’s using music to vent in a more personal way his comedy could not allow. This kind of music is a medium that offers more sincerity.

The ukulele on “worldstar money (interlude)” has always been in Miller’s acts, and refuses to be abandoned. In this case, it’s refreshing to hear on the album; the song is light and breezy. The splicing of the uke with a wooden block beat and falsetto ad-libs was a unique combination. The song abruptly fades and the album comes to a close after just 16 minutes.

I think the biggest issue Miller has is with power. His comedic music has a much larger presence, and he is very timid and laid back as Joji. This is especially shown in the vocals; they sound soft and rely on layering for strength. They’re a main feature, and I think pushing his vocal power in one track would allow for some richness.

The theme of “In Tongues,” are several instrumentation techniques being frequented, but each track has one unique nuance. Some of the better nuances are the ukulele, the guitar riff in “Pills” and digitized drums on “Windows.”

Miller is taking a break from being tongue and cheek, but that boldness is something that would ultimately benefit the music. Everything sounds well put together; Miller shows song writing capability in his atmospheres, beats, and vocals. Ideally the next release will bump up the energy a few notches and be more confident than “In Tongues” was.

Standout tracks: "Will He?" and "Worldstar Money (interlude)"  

Livia Homerski can be reached at musics.spectator@gmail.com.

View Our YouTube Channel
Edinboro TV
 
Find Us on Instagram