The evolution of George Miller aka Joji has been a fascinating one over the past few years. Many of you know him as either Youtube personality Filthy Frank and/or Pink Guy, the memetic rapping alter-ego who released a self-titled album back in 2017. After that, he retired both the Pink Guy and Filthy Frank names due to health reasons and want to focus on making more serious music.
Signing with the label 88rising and releasing his first album Ballads 1 a couple of years back, he has been working on a sophomore album that was originally intended to be released a few months back. Of course, the reason for the delay was a lot of things from the BLM protests to the COVID-19 pandemic (Did we mention the world is a dumpster fire right now?). Singles like “Sanctuary”, “Run” and “Gimme Love” were released prior to the album, and with 18 tracks running at 53 minutes with a minimal feature list including Lil’ Yachty and Yves Tumor, how sweet is the Nectar?
The content of the album is nothing new to most artists whether it be about relationships or the pressures of fame, and considering who he was before this, it is something to take note of even if sometimes the subject matter can repeat itself numerous times.
The song “Ew” comes into question with him wanting someone to love him forever as he’s lovelorn to find someone. “Gimme Love” also exemplifies this, begging for affection from the lover and the way the song concludes with the acoustic upbeat outro in contrast to the darker tones of the track.
Swing around front, let me inside
Playin’ my song into my sides
It hurts, I can’t lie
Remember those times I fought to get out?
I want to get out
Those pictures so clear, will fade in my mind
You’re leavin’ me here with ashes and fire
These people don’t heal, these people don’t feel
These people aren’t real, so make me this deal
The strongest part of the album is in the production with its lo-fi, darker sounds and a few bright spots in its acoustic style from producers like Bēkon, Clams Casino, Greg Kurstin, Joji himself, and even one Kenneth Beats among others. There is also “Daylight” with Diplo on production, and it does have a western twang to it which makes sense considering he has been crossing over to country for some time now under his Thomas Wesley alias.
On the side of the features, they do the job right with Omar Apollo on “High Hopes” and strangely, Lil’ Yachty’s sing-rapping on “Pretty Boy” actually fit within the track and sounds not too shabby. I’m going to admit I thought Rei Brown was Joji on his verse on “Normal People” for a bit. Him and BENEE on “Afterthought” do have good chemistry with the song focusing on the aftermath of a dysfunctional relationship without any ill will towards each other. However, I wish the track “Reanimator” with Yves Tumor could’ve been longer as I like the build-up in the first minute, and the song taking more of an experimental electronic turn with this production was a choice I respect and love so much on here, considering Tumor had a hand in the production.
Joji’s singing can really carry some emotional resonance in these types of relationship songs, especially on “Mr. Hollywood” where he goes into his higher range.
Ooh, I just wanna lay right by your side
We don’t gotta love each other right
We just gotta make it through the night
You don’t gotta say
You’re not into me no more
When we pass out on the floor
See the sun rise through the door
It’s safe to say that while Joji is still in his lane with the content he brings, he hasn’t lost a step in what he delivers best, and the production side also delivers on that front with a few switch-ups now and then with some experimentation in the latter half.
FINAL VERDICT: Buy it. What can I say? This album is….. well, sweet.
Nectar is on 88rising/12Tone Music and is available on CD, digital download and streaming services.