“Stranger Things” star, Joe Keery, has impressed listeners everywhere with his musical prowess. Prior to his Netflix stardom, Keery was a part of the psychedelic rock group known as “Post Animal," integral in the success of their debut project “When I Think Of You In A Castle”.
Keery is taking a rather unorthodox approach to the release and promotion of his music with new album "Twenty Twenty" under the name Djo.
Rather than capitalizing on his newfound acting stardom, Keery has completely changed his appearance, rocking a new hairstyle and luscious chevron mustache, requesting disassociation between his music and acting career. He’s letting his contagious, yet unique sound do all of the work. Keery does a wonderful job integrating aspects of psychedelia without completely overpowering the project.
“Personal Lies” leads off the album after the abrupt opener “Showtime.” This guitar-heavy rock song sticks out from the rest of the album as it strays away from its psychedelic counterparts.
Keery begins by saying, “Lately I feel like I’ve been losing my mind” referring to a mysterious girl. He continues to ride the raw chords as he enters the chorus talking more and more about this girl. Eventually, the song breaks off into a rocking guitar solo, acting as a bridge to the incredibly relaxed second half. This song is the perfect transition into the freaky “Tentpole Shangrila,” allowing listeners to buckle up for a wild ride throughout “Twenty Twenty.”
“Chateau (Feel Alright)” is an incredibly personal song for Djo. As one of the three singles released prior to the project, it carries a strong meaning and an addictive sound. The initial verse instills a rather gloomy tone, following a rather psychedelic guitar riff in which Keery refers to his girlfriend Maika Monroe. Keery begins by saying, “In the summer of my life, that’s when we first met.” Monroe is also featured on the cover art released alongside the single, with her eyes detailing the bottom right corner.
The tone is salvaged by a wonderfully trippy chorus. He addresses the title of the song saying, “I’m at the Chateau and I feel alright.”
“Roddy” was another single released by Keery, amassing 3.1 million streams on Spotify. Keery sings, ”Kicked out of the show, I’ll take what’s mine and I’ll go.” These lyrics pertain to his exit of his old group “Post Animal.”
The term “Roddy” refers to an individual who has ruined somebody else's life. Keery says, “Roddy, step on back from me, so man in the mirror, make another home here” which ultimately is a criticism for his past “Roddy” self.
Keery did an incredible job encapsulating the psychedelic nature of the 60s, while simultaneously twisting the sound into his own. It has been made apparent that he possesses an immense amount of potential. However, his raw talent has turned his first solo effort into a wonderful project.
Final Verdict: 8/10