Joywave Blends Rock, Pop and Electronica to Wash Away Social Sins in New Album Cleanse

4.2 out of 5 stars

Joywave has never been a favorite band of mine, but I have never had any issue with them either. They make decent music for the most part. It’s just a bit more electronic than I usually listen to.

On the new album Cleanse, you get what you expect from the band, and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. I actually was pleasantly surprised with the album overall.

The lyrics aren’t necessarily the strong point of the music, in my opinion, but the music does get you moving and grooving.

The first song on the album “Pray For the Reboot” is a good example of this. Sure, the message of the lyrics is pretty clear…we all want a redo on how humans have handled the world. But that’s as deep as it goes. However, the music is lush and the guitar solo in the middle of the song is quite a nice touch.

The next track on the album “Buy American” is just an in-your-face, pop-rock song that is catchy as hell. The chorus will definitely catch you in a singalong if you listen to it a few times:

So don't care, buy American
Think less, if it hurts more, baby
Livе, laugh, like I always say
When it breaks, wе'll get the whole thing replaced

This song also IS a bit more deep in meaning with some subtleties that I really like. Especially the line, “when it breaks, we’ll get the whole thing replaced.” American commodities are usually pretty poorly designed due to costs of labor and materials, and when they break, they tend to be disposable versus fixable. So, yeah, that line really does a lot of heavy lifting for the song.

The song “Every Window Is a Mirror” is just a straight up pop anthem. Straightforward lyrics about the way people are viewing the world and themselves simultaneously whether they know it or not. We all want to be good people, and we think others are destroying everything. So, how can we all want the right thing to be done, and yet the world is a shit show? 

Easy, we all see things from our own perspective, so we have different views on how to make the world work properly. This song has a HINT of Nirvana in the chorus as well. The guitar from “Come As You Are” sounds very similar to the melody played in the chorus.

After Coffee” is all about having a morning routine that showcases the bubble life most Americans find themselves living in. It’s a way to be comfortable in your own echo chamber and feel better than others without having to take any risks.

Another song that fits into that theme of how to live in a society that is pressured and puts high expectations on each other is “Cyn City 2000” which talks about being cynical, afraid to do something with your life and just flat out gives an excuse as to why it might be better to just live your life than to try to move up in the world.

In my opinion, the best song on the album is “The Inversion” which is a song about how tech has consumed us, given us new opinions, new ways to face the “world” (digitally), and how we separate ourselves from our humanity. It’s heavier and darker than most of the rest of the songs on the album, but it is quite good.

I would recommend you check this album out just for sheer curiosity as it is definitely not what I expected, and it is an album I could definitely listen to over and over, just not too closely together as I need more traditional rock songs to break up this new form of rock - my own way to “cleanse” my brain and get back to my own sense of normal.