More about: Djo
Joe Keery isn’t new to the music world. The 30-year-old released music a number of years ago under the moniker Cool Cool Cool, and then went on to play guitar and drums for Chicago psych band Post Animal.
And then along came Djo. It’s over three years since Keery released his first single under the name, and a debut album, Twenty Twenty, followed soon after. However, his second album DECIDE is a different beast.
‘Gloom’ is squelchy yet sleek synthpop that evokes thoughts of the ‘80s, and follows from the psychedelic opener ‘Runner’. Sometimes bombastic, as on ‘Half Life’, it’s clear that Keery could put on one hell of a show, but it’s not always as theatrical; he can do low-key too.
On ‘I Want Your Video’, Keery veers into retro-sounding R&B-pop that’s equal parts Justin Timberlake, Still Woozy, and Glass Animals. ‘Climax’ comes next, and it's more subdued but still satisfyingly funky and downright enjoyable.
‘Fool’ feels like a cousin of Scissor Sister’s Laura, and it’s one of the quirkier songs on the album. “That’s not right/There’s a person behind those eyes”, Keery announces to begin the track. “What’s that sound? There’s a funny man at my door”, he continues on the second verse.
While his background might be in psychedelia, as we can see from his work with Post Animal and earlier material as Djo, Keery travels through synthpop, new wave, even hyperpop on DECIDE.
Turning 30 earlier this year, Keery explores life in his late 20s throughout the record, and it feels at times rather personal but accessible too. The album feels like it’s one that could only have been made in the last couple of years, and could only have been made around the pandemic. It’s a product of its environment, while also harking back to the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Put simply, DECIDE is the mark of a multi-talented musician who’s really found his feet, and it’s possibly Keery’s most robust and consistent body of work yet.
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More about: Djo