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Djo's 'Twenty Twenty' - A Solid Psychedelic Experiment by Joe Keery


Joe Keery, better known as the beloved Steve Harrington from "Stranger Things," trades in his fictional bat for a guitar on his musical project Djo’s debut album, "Twenty Twenty."


The release, which seemed to emerge almost stealthily in 2019, has been an intriguing surprise for both fans of his acting and early adopters of his burgeoning music career.

"Twenty Twenty" encapsulates an exploration into the psychedelic and the experimental, echoing back to sounds from the past while infusing them with a distinctly modern ethos.


The album’s 12 tracks offer a smorgasbord of auditory experiences, with Keery donning the hat of a psychonaut navigating through an eclectic soundscape.

Keery's effort is commendable as he weaves intricate layers of sound, creating a tapestry that feels both nostalgic and fresh. There's a clear thread of influence from the psych-rock arena, likely a carryover from his time with Post Animal, yet the sound is unmistakably his own. From the self-reflective lyrics to the lush instrumentation, "Twenty Twenty" feels like a journey through Keery's own musings, set against a backdrop of kaleidoscopic sound.

However, while the album is ambitious, it does tread familiar ground. At times, the experimental nature of the music can seem somewhat guarded, hinting at potentials of audacity that it does not fully embrace. Some tracks feel like a prelude to a riskier venture that is yet to come, suggesting that Djo may still be finding its footing in the vast expanse of the indie music scene.

The production quality of "Twenty Twenty" stands out, especially considering the absence of a major label’s backing. It has a polished sheen that elevates the homemade ethos that often characterizes indie releases. This polished approach, combined with the organic spread of the album through streams, is a testament to the DIY era of music production and distribution.


The album’s reception, buoyed by Keery's fame but sustained by its own merit, speaks to the potential longevity and evolution of Djo as more than just a side project. While it may not have made the seismic impact of a debut from a more established musician, "Twenty Twenty" has garnered over 200 million streams, suggesting that there is a significant audience for Keery’s musical musings.


In summary, Djo’s "Twenty Twenty" is a solid entry into the psychedelic genre, blending past and present into a cohesive, if not entirely groundbreaking, record. It may not redefine the genre, but it certainly marks Joe Keery as an artist with more to offer than his on-screen talents. For those seeking a thoughtful, introspective trip with a retro flair, "Twenty Twenty" is worth the listen. Fans will undoubtedly be curious to see how Keery's musical persona evolves in future projects.


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