Dreamy Pop & Broken Hearts: Reviewing Joji’s “Nectar”

Joji releases new album, "Nectar"

Ambient-pop prince, Joji, just released his second studio album, “Nectar”. The 18-track album arrives after a steady roll out of pre-released singles, including ‘Gimme Love’, and ‘Daylight’, featuring Diplo. In addition, the new release features guest appearances from an unpredictable line up of people. Fellow indie-pop musician, Omar Apollo joins in on a track called ‘High Hopes’, while rapper Lil Yachty features on the track, ‘Pretty Boy’. 

What Defines “Nectar”

And, while Joji’s music has always been disarming in its quality (considering the space he occupies in the meme-corners of the Internet), “Nectar” delivers surprising maturity. His 2018 album, ‘BALLADS 1’, offered a first-look at Joji and his music, inviting listeners to take his craft seriously. But, with this album, he’s simply using music to detail heartbreak, loss, and multiple shades of melancholia. But, unlike his signature melancholic pop drone, this project offers fresh sound – tropical, dance, ambient bedroom pop – it all.

A Catalogue of Dream Pop

“Nectar” kicks off with a track called, ‘Ew’ (no the name isn’t lost on us). And, then the album descends into a catalogue of heartbreak and self-reflection in a dream glow pop daze. As one makes their way through the project, they can expect to encounter many versions of Joji. On ‘MODUS’, you see a man of honesty as he sings, “Do forgive me, I’ve seen the treasure’s in the bloom/ But right now, I’m just not strong enough for you.” 

And, then, in ‘Daylight’, he meets us in a moment of acceptance of wallowing (it happens to the best of us). In addition, a surprising journey led by tracks ‘High Hopes’ through to ‘Mr. Hollywood’ occupies the mid-section of “Nectar”, offering the best of pop culture references, indie-pop charm and palatable break up songs. 

“Nectar”, now available on all streaming platforms, is a success in many ways – new adventures for Joji and artistic credibility. And, most importantly, it marks his desire to tell the truth rather than don the cloak of a “serious” musician. 

By: Ahalya Narayanan