Joji’s New Single Is a Great New Direction

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Joji’s new single, “Run,” was released on February 7th. It seems that Joji is moving in a refreshing, new direction with his new single. 

Joji used to be a YouTuber by the name of Filthy Frank. He was known for his insane videos that bordered on disturbing. One of his most famous videos displays him taking a dead rat and making ramen noodle soup with it. He has dozens of videos like this; he does all these crazy stunts while swearing profusely.

His music, however, is nothing like his YouTube personality. It has, up to this point, consisted largely of sad, melancholy music, over lo-fi production- production defined by its purposeful lack of fidelity. This new song, however, maintains the depressing mood he is known for; that has changed is the genre and production quality.

While he had introduced some elements of cleaner production on the single he released before this one, “Sanctuary,” he had still maintained some lo-fi production (note the song’s muddier bass). On “Run,” however, Joji has completely abandoned the idea of lo-fi production and has embraced a glossy sound that is more along the lines of modern pop production. The instrumental, like most of his previous material, is drenched in reverb and delay, but has an incredibly unsaturated and clean bass line, contrasting with previous songs he has done like “Slow Dancing in the Dark.” The vocals follow a similar route, maintaining his usual reverb-heavy production, but with no elements of lo-fi production.

What really makes this song stand out, is the huge improvement in Joji’s vocal performance. He sounds much more confident and much less subdued. He maintains a clean crisp tone and has no trouble maintaining that steady tone as he reaches into his higher registers.

Another big change was the inclusion of rock elements. The song is driven by a looping guitar line that hypnotizes and captivates the listener. The biggest rock element in the song is definitely the epic guitar solo. It is really unexpected, but it sounds amazing. 

The new elements and production are definitely a good direction. While I did not like the song initially, it has grown on me immensely. The new direction may not be for everyone, but I love it. 

Check his new single out today, and see what you think of it!