‘Decide’ by Djo

‘Stranger Things’ star releases sophomore album

Malaki Lingg, Assistant Web and Social Editor

Many may know Joe Keery for his role as Steve Harrington in the Netflix hit, “Stranger Things,” but those who follow him closely know him for his work in the music industry as Djo.

Before taking on the moniker of Djo, Keery was a part of the Chicago-based psych-rock band Post Animal. After leaving Post Animal to work on his acting career in projects such as “Stranger Things” and “Slice,” Keery decided to work on a solo music career as Djo, releasing his debut album, “Twenty Twenty” in 2019. 

After receiving critical acclaim for his debut album, fans were left wanting more from Keery. After a three-year wait, “Decide” was released on Sept. 16. 

The opening track “Runner” sets the vibe for the album incredibly well. The song opens with 8-bit electronics while lyrics such as “people never change, but I have to try” help set the theme of the passage of time and personal growth throughout the album.

 This helps set “Decide” away from Keery’s previous album. While “Twenty Twenty” is a great album, one of its shortcomings is that it does not feel as if it has a definite theme or purpose. “Decide” sets a theme, and for the most part, that theme stays coherent. Songs such as “Runner” and “End of Beginning” truly showcase Keery’s ongoing improvement as an artist as well as the album’s commitment to its theme. 

Alongside Keery’s dedication to the album’s motif, he has been sporting a new, yet arguably campy look. For his promotional pictures, Keery is showing off his new style, with a suit and a 70s-style haircut all while being surrounded by retro decor. Keery’s new style displays a resemblance to Tyler, the Creator’s style for his 2019 album, “Igor,” where Tyler was styled in a pink suit and a blonde bowl-cut wig. 

“Decide” is a fun album, with Keery taking inspiration from artists such as Tame Impala, Daft Punk and Dayglow. With tracks full of unique electronics, funky synth and vocoded vocals, Keery shows an impressive expansion on his previous work, but with a much more defined theme. The album gives off an incredibly off-kilter psychedelic sound while modernizing the 80s alt-pop sound. For those who are fans of the artists mentioned previously or are just looking to expand their listening, “Decide” is a must-listen. 

“Decide” is streaming now on platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.