Should Joji's "Gimme Love" Be Given Love?
Updated: May 6
A Japanese-born artist who tends to blend hip-hop, R&B, electronic, and folk, has released his third track to be heard from his upcoming album Nectar, which is set to be released on July 10th (as well as an accompanying music video). Prior to "Gimme Love," Joji released "Sanctuary" in 2019 (which is personally one of my all-time favorite songs) and "Run" in 2020. Can "Gimme Love" live up to the past success created by his chart-topping BALLADS 1 from 2018?
The sound seamlessly blends R&B and electro-pop to create a melody that is so different at points but ultimately cohesive, drawing the listener in. The first half is a quick, head-bopping beat that blends well with the vocals, straying from his old style slightly but still keeping the same trends. At 1:45, the beat makes a dramatic turn to a soft, guitar (sounds slightly like a harp?) that is paired with humming vocals that makes a beautiful, heart-wrenching song. It's the Joji sound we know best, the sound that puts us in our feels, yet brings us to a state of otherworldly bliss at the same time. If I couldn't gush about it enough, I love the way this incorporates two different vibes that join into one, that quite literally put a smile on my face as I listened. This melody deserves nothing less than a 10 on the 1-10 rating scale.
Joji undeniably has a beautiful voice. The raspy, deep vocals can showcase a variety of moods, but what he does best is music made for sad girl hours (at least, that's when he is at his prime in my music library). "Gimme Love" employs some of the breathy voice that we are used to, but not before his layered voice creates a catchy tune in the first half. Even after listening to the song maybe twice, I found myself singing along to the energetic vocals in the beginning, then vibing to the second half. Though his voice was as beautiful as ever, Joji seemed to avoid experimentation with vocal style. Because of this, Intersect gives the voice an 8/10 on the 1-10 rating scale.
THE ART BEHIND THE SINGLE
There's one thing that Joji does without a flaw: love ballads. Hell, even his previous album is called BALLADS 1. "Gimme Love" is no exception, coming in with the chorus that so obviously is his yearning for true love. In the first verse, Joji reminisces on old times, reaching for the "good old days" that is truly a universal feeling, as we all look back on simpler times and feel the pang of nostalgia. The good old days that Joji is referencing left him broken, looking for the love that has now left a hollow space in his heart. This theme continues throughout the last verse, where Joji's departing line is "But I can't let you go." His choice to conclude with this reveals the grim reality with departing love--we hold onto pieces of it--even when it's long gone. We do anything to replace the feeling, yet nothing can quite quench the longing. While Joji paints a raw image of relationships, this is something he has done before. But since it is done so wonderfully, Intersect gives the lyrics a 9/10.
IF YOU LIKE THIS, YOU'LL ALSO LIKE
If you like the ethereal feel: "R.I.P." feat. Trippie Redd, from BALLADS 1
If you like the hopeful melody: "Sanctuary" from Nectar
Well, "Gimme Love" does deserve the love. Earning a 9/10 overall, Intersect can't wait to hear what Joji has in store for us in the upcoming album. Check back for an album review in July and listen below.