Critical News: ‘Juno’ by Remi Wolf
Barely two years after starting his musical career, Remi Wolf released his highly anticipated debut album, “Juno”, on Friday October 15th.
The California native first appeared on American Idol in 2014 during her senior year of high school. After graduating from USC Thornton School of Music, Wolf released her debut EP in October 2019. Now, two years later, her debut album has finally arrived after she picked up a lot of momentum in 2021.
Wolf’s style is best described as a fusion of funk and pop, with lots of groovy baselines and lots of pop synths in his songs. Through the album “Juno”, Wolf shows that she is not afraid to try something new, especially with the difference in sound of some songs.
The album kicks off with “Liquor Store”, one of the singles released before the album. Right from the start, the electric guitar riffs and slamming percussions hold our attention. Wolf’s subject matter on the song is all over the place – something that comes up throughout the album, but the catchy chorus and fun instrumental help the listener get past that and enjoy the song as a whole. At the time of writing, the song is the most listened to on the album with almost 3.5 million streams.
The following song shows the influence of the person whose song is named, “Anthony Kiedis”, lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The chorus is super catchy on this song, and the name drops the Chili Peppers, showing just how much influence the band has on Wolf’s music. The instrumental is similar to the first song with a bassline that moves and drums that once again demand attention.
“Wyd” is a bit of a change in style as a new acoustic guitar takes over, but the drums are still in your ears. Wolf’s vocals are something to admire as she is able to hit those notes which work really well. She also has a certain flow throughout the song that makes your ears perk up and listen intently to what she is saying.
“Guerilla” takes on an electronic style, with very groovy synths and a little bit of bass drop here and there that makes this song quite different from the other songs on the album. Wolf is able to work his way through the song with a few catchy bars that make this song a staple.
The fifth song, “Quiet on Set”, is a highlight of the album. With by far one of the album’s catchiest choruses and an instrumental that gets you dancing, you just can’t go wrong with this song. The choir discusses her faults in life and how much she enjoys being the “bad girl”. The “Debbie Downer” part of the song just before the final chorus has you singing along with Wolf, proving how good his writing skills are.
Wolf’s combination of synths and acoustic guitar on “Volkiano” provides one of the best instrumentals on the album. Her chorus, while only saying “volcano” over and over again, is still pretty catchy just because of the way she delivers. The second half of the song changes a bit of rhythm, going from funky drums to more modern high-hats and a very groovy synth guitar, which makes it even more enjoyable.
“Front Tooth” is a very different track from the others because it takes more of a hip-hop element. This makes sense because hip-hop producer Kenny Beats was on the production of the song. The name of the chorus drops UFC fighter Connor McGreggor, likening his life to being kicked in the mouth and losing his front tooth. A different piece but still enjoyable to listen to.
“Grumpy Old Man” is a bit of an odd track as Wolf portrays the stereotypical grumpy old man in the chorus. Still, it has its charm and you still feel the urge to sing along with it throughout the song.
The closing track “Street You Live On” is such a good match. It’s a simple love piece, but it’s something new and refreshing from Wolf that catches you off guard at first. But as the track progresses you find yourself nodding and singing along with the chorus.
Remi Wolf’s “Juno” is one of my favorite early albums from 2021 so far. His style is so different from current pop that it’s refreshing. His writing on the album and his use of guitar and drums make the project sound very enjoyable. The album scores 8.5 out of 10. Wolf’s creativity is something I think a lot of artists should be looking into from now on.