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Djo combines raw, honest, deeply personal lyrics about growing up and the trials of young adulthood with the retro synth-pop beats of yesteryear to create a masterpiece of an album (Photo provided by Spotify).


Djo’s ‘Decide’ is a raw commentary on the trials of young adulthood

Actor and musician Joe Keery (or Djo) has returned with his sophomore effort, “Decide,” a raw, 80’s-infused synth-wave piece that follows Keery through his young adulthood, serving as an ode to the problems all twenty-somethings face in this transitional period.

This is exemplified through the lyrics of “Gloom,” an angry song about walking out of a bad friendship, an unfortunate thing that many people experience. This song serves as a cathartic anthem for it, with raw, brutal lyrics directed towards the toxic friend and a distinctly Talking Heads-influence.

Another example of this is in “Half Life” a tech-rock song about the pitfalls of being on social media. “The world is changing and upgrading, faster than we can control,” the 30-year-old sings, and he’s not wrong. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of constant social media exposure, and it's a very common problem among young adults.

This theme carries on into “On and On,” another song based around social media’s chokehold on young adults, making our reactions to events such as a loss or love less genuine and more filtered since social media made us so desensitized to it. The song is relatable to teens and twenty-somethings, yet undeniably raw and personal to Keery.

This rawness shines through in less relatable songs though, too, particularly in the track, “Fool.” It expresses his attitude to quite literally being everyone’s fool. Whether it’s in terms of a relationship or in relation to his time in the spotlight as Steve Harrington on “Stranger Things” is up to interpretation, but it remains an obviously quite personal expression to Keery, as he explains his choice to be the fool rather than being forced into it.

But above all, the album is about moving through life. No song shows this better than “End of Beginning.” It beautifully explains the feeling of returning to a place you once knew and explores the duality of recognizing your growth as a person while still remaining the same person you were. 

He talks about returning to Chicago and seeing that “another version” of himself was living there in the past. On the other hand, he also explains that you can “take the man out of the city, not the city out the man”, expressing that a part of the older version of himself still lives on in the current version of him. 

All in all, Djo combines raw, honest, deeply personal lyrics about growing up and the trials of young adulthood with the retro synth-pop beats of yesteryear to create a masterpiece of an album. 

@alicia_szcz  

as589820@ohio.edu    

 


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