JoJo‘s upcoming album good to know, a name which has the air of a nonchalant closure to a trying conversation - is a fitting yet unassuming name for the emotional, sonic and vocal treasures hidden inside.
This album is a closure and new start in many ways for the accomplished RnB / Pop singer-songwriter. After a decade of legal battles and denied abilities to publish any music - Joanna Levesque has been taking steady steps up the industry ladder since the release of her 2016 Album, Mad Love, debuting Top 10. In late 2018, she took back ownership of her music, re-recording and re-releasing her first two albums (JoJo and The High Road) for her powerhouse fanbase, who iconically supported her through the #FreeJoJo movement and beyond. Released under her label Clover Music, part of Warner Records, it marked the beginning of her reclaimed independence.
For this album, she teamed up with producers Lido and Doc McKinney. Fuelled by the release of emotions from a recently ended relationship, the album infuses her work up to this point with a powerful release of percolating emotion. The sound world is dark, ethereal, yet equally full of bursts of colour and rhythm. The album takes on themes of sex, lust and love like an exposition on all the colours of emotion that come to play in a romantic relationship, through her love for R&B and Hip Hop.
In terms of production - the album is simply stunning. It’s just the right balance of luscious vocal harmonies and ad libs, intriguing emotive sonic textures, deep basses and incredibly goooood beats. Expect the best ‘stank face’ - when the best drops in ‘Lonely Hearts’ in particular - which dropped early, on Friday April 24th.
Beginning with a somber washed out sound world, you’re immediately enveloped by a tingling excitement as JoJo opens her album with intro ‘Bad Habits’. Right off the bat, the production and sonic imagery sets you right inside her mind’s eye. The longing for numbness is palpable, with an ever present sub bass and swirling pad textures supporting her crystal clear vocal lines like the light in a dark misty room. The key slides up at the end creating a seamless transition onwards - a theme throughout the album, with unique sound worlds connecting the seams of each song.
‘Pedialyte’, is an anthem to life: ‘life is the occasion/swear I’m never gonna drink again’, with an A Capella outro into ‘Gold’ - which is pure ear candy, and the definition of the ‘baby making’ Spotify playlist. The lo-fi RnB sound-world paired with her vocals flow like liquid gold and brings to mind the powerhouse vocal, free-flowing songwriting of Beyoncé’s Lemonade Album (which is, in my opinion, one of the greatest albums of this century).
This album has the depth, maturity, confidence and craft to debut right at the top of the charts. I truly hope it does. It’s a breath of fresh air in an oversaturated musical community, one where anyone can put anything out without a second thought. With the feeling that each sound, lyric and melody has been turned over and over until it communicated the intended emotion perfectly - that is art that lasts the test of time - and ultimately rises to the top of all the noise.
Follow our socials and listen to our second #getinthegroove podcast where I interview JoJo about her album and advice on life.
Her album releases, TOMORROW on May 1st.