Returning to his musical talents, Djo, also known as Joe Keery, released his second album called DECIDE on Sept. 16. Keery released his first solo album on Sept. 13, 2019 called Twenty Twenty, and it was a huge hit among indie music fans. With this long-awaited return, Keery brings a mesh of indie and retro ‘80s tech to life with a 36-minute track list that lovers of ‘80s and indie music will be adding to their collections.
Before the whole album's release, there were four pre-released songs titled “Change,” “Gloom,” “Half Life” and “Figure You Out.” These four remain as some of the most extraordinary songs from the album. “Change” began the new era of Djo with an upbeat techno banger that stayed on my summer playlist. “Change” is followed by the short but impressionable and funky track called “Gloom.” The remaining two songs “Half Life” and “Figure You Out” are the two songs on the pre-release list that are lyrically strong and speak about important topics ranging from helping those in need to figuring out life circumstances to self-realization.
Upon the release of the album, there was a whirlwind of reactions about which songs were the best and how the album compared to Twenty Twenty. However, in my opinion, DECIDE took the strongest components of Twenty Twenty and created a funky indie album that leaves no song similar to the last. One of the trademarks of this album is the unpredictable beats and turns in the songs that leave the listener—or at least me—at a loss for words. The transition between the first two tracks of the album, “Runner” and “Gloom,” and the amazing drum solo at the end of “On and On” make this album remarkable. This album presents a myriad of emotions about life and experiences in today's world which, in my opinion, makes it one of the best albums released this year.
The outstanding song of this album has to be “End of Beginnings.” This song speaks to me as a college student away from home. As a whole, it reminds me of Djo’s previous hit song “Roddy” in that it uses a lot of Indie influences, and because of that, “End of Beginnings” has been on my daily playlist since it was released. Finally, I would be performing a disservice if I did not provide a short list of my top five songs of the album. The entirety of DECIDE is a unique journey that needs to be appreciated in its entirety; however, my top five are “End of Beginnings”, “Half Life,” “Slither,” “Figure You Out” and, finally, “On and On.”
By Danika Ray, Contributing Writer