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Ballads 1 (2018), 6.5/10 Links:

New York-based (Japanese-born) rapper and comedian George "Joji" Miller released the comedy album Pink Season (2017) under the moniker Pink Guy, then the six-song EP In Tongues (2017), displaying his skills in elaborate arrangements on songs such as Pills, and the best-selling album Ballads 1 (2018) in the role of the soulful crooner. The anguished romantic ballad Slow Dancing In The Dark (with an almost neoclassical arrangement by Chairlift's Patrick Wimberly) and the dejected anemic whispered piano elegy Attention certainly rise above the average of the neosoul genre. Joji is a master of low-energy crooning. Why Am I Still in LA (produced by WeDidIt's members Henry "Shlohmo" Laufer and Djavan "D33J" Santos) is also a masterful case of tension building and releasing: it begins like an ethereal "acid" trip but then picks up rhythm as if it's about to explode into punk-rock, and instead returns to a state of quasi-hypnosis. Another case of jarring contrast is the self-produced Wanted U, which is both a dissonant soundscape and a choral singalong. The other soul of the album is the one for the dancefloor. Clams Casino engineers the more upbeat Can't Get Over You while the equally propulsive Yeah Right is again self-produced. The compromise between the whining and the danceable modes leads to Xnxx, which is a relatively robust song over tinkling synths, and to the catchy singalong of No Fun, his most blatant attempt at a pop hit.
(Copyright © 2019 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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