It’s been ten years since we’ve had an album from JoJo. Ten whole years! She’s been trying to release her third album in so long, but finally it’s here and the wait is over.
Let’s go back. JoJo, real name Joanna Levesque, released her second studio album titled “The High Road” in 2006. It charted well globally and carried her international fame. However, when she came around to submitting a third album it didn’t go out as planned. Instead we had non-album singles which came from EPs that she released online for free. In 2013, she took her record labels to court. After a multi-year battle, they came to an agreement outside of court. She was released from her contract and signed to a new one with Atlantic Records.
It was time for JoJo to make her return. She released an EP to test the waters; next was the Tringle, three singles released at the same time; a follow-up EP; and then her first single “F*** Apologies.” which featured Wiz Khalifa. JoJo was back for good with a third album in the works and on its way.
The wait for this album has been frustrating for us all, none more so than JoJo. We all know it’s not her fault for being away for so long, but she’s more than made the wait worth it. This album is simply incredible. That ten-year wait has made JoJo’s third album a phenomenal masterpiece. This is not any album; this isn’t just an album you need in your life; this album isn’t something you have in the background. This album is pure power. It’s an album your ears will bathe in pleasure at listening to. It’s an album like no other. JoJo is back at full force. Nothing will stop her now.
A ten-year gap is massive in the music industry, so JoJo had to pick the perfect song to be her intro track on the album. A tough choice, but she made the right one with “Music.”. Such an ambiguous name, the intro track became the last instant grat single; and it’s amazing, well the entire album is amazing, but this song is something special. It’s a piano ballad, an ode to her parents mainly her father who sadly passed away last year. The last verse is so emotional it makes the entire song even more real and passionate. Such a tearful song, it really hits home.
Next up are three songs that have featured vocalists. “I Can Only.”, “F*** Apologies.” and “FAB.” all feature Alessia Cara, Wiz Khalifa and Remy Ma respectively. Alessia Cara adds perfect harmonies to “I Can Only.”, it’s a total powerhouse song with fire vocals throughout. The bridge is incredibly catchy and the melody is much more upbeat. Totally great lead up to “F*** Apologies.”, completely real, so catchy and understandable why it was chosen as the first single. Wiz Khalifa breaks the song up perfectly with his rap. It really shows how far she’s come and as the first single from the album it definitely shows her progression from her first two albums, her EPs and her Tringle. “FAB.” on the other hand is a totally different side to JoJo. It’s fire all the way through. It’s an acronym meaning “Fake Ass Bitches” and it’s about saying goodbye to the fake people in the world, no one needs them in their lives. Remy Ma’s rap is spice all the way through, works brilliantly and it’s such a great collaboration. Respect to JoJo for including a verse for her fans, the ones who have had her back since day one.
Instant grat singles for this album were “Mad Love.”, “FAB.” and “Music.”. These were the perfect choices to show her diversity in the album as well as the style and the route JoJo has gone down. “Mad Love.” is much slower, kind of heading towards a ballad but man it’s strong. It shows off her vocals and emotion throughout, much like all the other songs. It stands out because it’s between two upbeat songs, it may seem out of place but it really isn’t.
“Vibe.” and “Honest.” follow next. The former has catchy vibes in the melody. It could easily be a Fifth Harmony song, but JoJo’s voice is so amazing that she does this song more than justice. Who needs five voices when you have JoJo’s vocals? Heading towards techno, this is a dancefloor filler that will have DJs remixing left right and centre. The latter is probably the weakest track on the album, which isn’t really possible. Containing some synths in the melody, “Honest.” is an interesting ballad song that develops into a kind of EDM track. A sweet falsetto from JoJo can be heard as she sings complete real lyrics.
Next up is “Like This.”, “Edibles.” and “High Heels.”. A bit of RnB followed by a bit of pop and then some soul. This album sure has it all. “Like This.” is catchy, JoJo turns into a lyrical vocal goddess. On-point throughout. “Edibles.” is slower and softer, the melody holds back to expose her wonderful vocals. “High Heels.” is the confidence song, the one that boosts our self-esteem. Much more upbeat, JoJo says goodbye to a lover and walks out of his life. Very inspirational.
The last track on the standard album is “I Am.”. This song is full of references towards sayings we all know, these include: “Mirror, mirror on the wall” and “Fool me once, shame on you”. JoJo flips the meanings of these, making them much more powerful and independent. Works brilliantly after “High Heels.” inspiring her listeners and fans to believe their beautiful and they can do anything they want. JoJo has worked hard for years to release a third album. People may have told her she’ll never release it, much like people who probably told her she wouldn’t become a singer, but that didn’t stop her. Hell, she did it; it was quite the fight but she did it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.
For anyone who wants the deluxe album, there are four additional tracks. “Clovers.” is upbeat and strong; it’s bass infused after the first chorus which speeds the track up. It feels like a breeze that develops into a gust of wind, soon enough you’re in a blizzard; JoJo’s voice will give anyone the chills. “Reckless.”, much like “Honest.”, is lacking compared to her other songs; it’s more of a story-based song. It’s gentle and feels lighter. Reminds me of a much softer “In The Dark”, which was released on her second EP.
The last two tracks, “Good Thing.” and “Rise Up.”, are worthy of being on the standard version. The former is a club track similar to “Vibe.” but different in its own right. JoJo brings it! This is the song for any party that’s just starting to get good. It’s the one we want on the dancefloor in a club. The latter track, the very last JoJo song on her third album is a sweet meaningful outro song. Click rhythm bringing back visions of the “When Love Hurts” music video and song. It ends on a high, it may be the last song of the deluxe version of the album but it’s just the beginning. So powerful with a strong outro. The last words are sung by a collective audience; beautiful and endearing, JoJo is officially back and this is just the start!
As a whole this album is everything. It’s on repeat right now. We can’t get enough of it. The music industry is hard and tough; we’ve been without a JoJo album for an entire decade, with a voice like this she deserves better. After a battle and a half, JoJo finally did it. Thank you for never giving up, for continuing to fight and releasing music, even when you had to release free EPs online. It all lead to this. JoJo is not just an inspiration to everyone in the world, she’s a force like no other. Now it’s time for us to give her some mad love, because she has earned it. Thank you.
JoJo said this of her album release: “I actually kind of can’t believe it. After all the blood, sweat, tears, and YEARS – I am actually releasing an official third album. THANK. YOU. with everything I have, for being the inspiring bunch you are, giving me life, and always showing me MAD LOVE. Many of you have been with me since day one, and I need you to know how deeply important you are in my life. My desire is that you love this album more and more every time you live with it. That’s what I love about music. The discovery. The way that we can all listen to the same song and hear it through the filter of our own experience, and get something new with each listen. Please continue to spread the word, request “No Apologies” at radio, and help make this album a success. I can’t do anything without you. Thank you for believing in me. Mad Love., JoJo.”
JoJo’s third studio album “Mad Love.” is out now! Download and stream it, it’s time to give her some mad love back to her.
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