Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Decide is rife with Djo's madcap energy and chameleonic shifts



Release date: 16 September 2022
Djo - Decide cover
13 September 2022, 00:00 Written by Christopher Hamilton-Peach

Joe Keery has been carving out a multi-hyphenated guise under alter-ego Djo.

Cutting his teeth as a member of Polyvinyl Records-signed psych-rock outfit Post Animal, Keery has enjoyed a musical track record separate from the acting arena, Djo being the latest incarnation in a long-term passion rather than a flash in the pan side interest. With solo debut Twenty Twenty acknowledging his former band’s experimental foundations in its progressively plied ‘70s power pop, sophomore effort Decide follows suit in spanning a bolder and wider-ranging smorgasbord of eras and genres.

Alluding to Keery’s formative years, the experience of navigating his late twenties and the inevitability of change, Decide parallels coming-of-age strands with funk-teasing synth space, waypoints blurring ‘80s and ‘90s pop nods with familiar modern production quirks. Electronic arpeggios prime opener “Runner”, evolving to Daft Punk-fashioned vocoder and keys – tempo-twitching form indicative of the record’s jolting direction of travel, one that anchors the curbed delivery of Talking Heads-evoking “Gloom” and Tame Impala-skewed “On and On”. The latter two acts appear as twin pillars of influence, a combination that gels in its patchwork of styles, stitched with Keery’s malleable vocals.

Decide resists being sonically pinned down, “Half Life” extending the versatility on show in veering between Scritti Politti steered sophisti-pop and Kevin Parker-esqe interludes, whilst “Fool” stands as a Cameo-indebted slice of slightly skewwhiff R&B that coincides with the album’s indisputable variety. Further highlights arrive in the form of all-too-brief “End Of Beginning”, seeing Keery touch upon roots, relocation and identity, sentiment mirrored by nostalgic synth echoes, Kavinsky-esque “Climax” unfolding in similar stealthy traction. Djo yet again proves an adaptable vehicle for such madcap energy and chameleonic shifts in style, an earnest and well-finished delve into another sphere of Keery’s artistic voice.

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