Joji, In Tongues | Album Review
Up-and-coming R&B artist Joji (aka ‘Filthy Frank,’ real name ‘George Miller’) drops his six-song, moody debut EP, ‘In Tongues.’
Filthy Frank indeed is filthy on YouTube. However, this review has nothing to do with Filthy Frank – this is about Joji (real name George Miller). Joji has greater musical aspirations as opposed to the shock value and utter ridiculousness of Filthy Frank… we assume. He drops his debut EP, In Tongues.
“Will He” opens enigmatically. It’s melancholy, indulgent, and heavy. Despite the weight carried by the sound and vibe, the sound is very beautiful and well-produced. Joji delivers respectable vocals, singing the moody lyrics with passion and authenticity. He successfully conveys his feelings and the narrative. That narrative is ex-girl is with a new boy and it’s not Joji. While it’s a bit indulgent, all in all, it’s a great way to commence In Tongues.
The heartbreak continues on “Pills,” finding Joji singing lyrics including, “Please don’t run away” and “I need you back.” So, where do the actual pills come in? On the bridge, where he’s going to get high.
“So, I’ll fly away / Zoloft, Xanax / Zoloft, Xanax.”
Like the opener, “Pills” is moody, mysterious, introspective, and experimental. This is an alternative breed of R&B.
“Demons” features clever lyricism to say the least. The central theme seems to be a relationship. On this particular record, Joji seems be discussing the inevitable breakup – the “death” of the relationship. In some instances, it seems he’s putting a bandage on things, even as there’s no ‘smooth sailing’: “We don’t gotta die so soon / So I just behave for you.” On the chorus, he emphasizes warning over threat. On the outro, he’s ready to end it:
“Please just let me go / Let me go / I’ve seen enough…”
“Window” features excellent drum programming anchoring things down. Although it’s set in a major key, “Window” remains moody, lacking optimism. Actually, it’s flat out pessimistic. “I see nothing out the window,” Joji sings, continuing, “Watching all the leaves grow… / Feels better in my dreams though.” The death referenced in “Demons” seems literal here, particularly by the outro:
“Eyes closed / Eyes closed / Head down / Eyes closed / Ice cold / Melt down.”
On “Bitter Fuck,” Joji describes himself as just that – a bitter fuck. He references his issues and blames his ex- for making him a “bitter fuck,” particularly on the first verse and the chorus.
“Now I’m a bitter fuck / They call me a bitter fuck / Because of you / Because of you.”
The bluntness continues on the second verse. Two key words serve as the foundation of the verse: bitch and fuck. Charming. In regards to bitch, Joji describes her as being lame, yet goes on to say she “just came all over me.” In regards to fuck, it’s double entendre, with the primary meaning being, ‘don’t mess with me,’ hence showcasing the bitterness. The ukulele fueled “worldstar money (interlude)” concludes the EP, abstractly.
All in all, Joji offers something unique with In Tongues. The vibe is definitely the best attribute. Lyrically, this project requires the listener to read into what he sings, as opposed to always laying things out ‘cut and dry.’ There are no ‘hits’ on this EP, but there’s potential. One flaw is the lack of truly dynamic moments.
Gems: “Will He,” “Demons” & “Bitter Fuck”