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JoJo – good to know

JoJo - Good To Know

3.3

Rating

3.3/5

Flyctory.com Pros

  • Amazing voice
  • "Don't talk me down" is an amazing song
  • JoJo feels to me more emancipated from external influences

Flyctory.com Cons

  • Some of the songs are just too weak
  • Not sufficient for a "Comeback" maybe (but a step towards it?)

Ten million downloads for one song (Too Little, Too Late), Radio Disney Music Awards and being nominated for the MTV Video Music Award in the Best New Artist category – in the mid of the first decade of the 2000’s, JoJo was one of the most promising music acts. The pop and R&B singer is still active, but the spotlights became a big weaker, the stages smaller. On 1st May 2020, she released her fourth studio album, good to know

 

JoJo – About The Artist

Joanna Noelle Levesque was born in Brattleboro, Vermont on 20th December 1990, and grew up in Greater Boston. Her first appearances in national TV were due to the show America’s Most Talented Kids, which she competed in at the age of 12. She signed a record deal and released JoJo, her first album, on 22nd June 2004. The album was Top 5 in the US, but also performed well in other markets like Germany or the United Kingdom. The key reason for that was the debut single Leave (Get Out), which made it to the Top 10 in multiple markets. She also topped the US Pop charts with the track and became the youngest artist to perform as such. Her second single of that album, Baby It’s You, which is featuring Bow Wow, performed well as well, e.g. peaking 15th in Germany. The second album The High Road featured her most famous track Too Little Too Late. The single made it to the third spot in the US (overall) single charts and had good placements worldwide, while the corresponding majorly was big in the USA and Canada. 

After struggling with her record company, she became less successful and had some independent releases. Singing Atlantic Records in 2014 lead to three new EPs in 2014 and 2015 and the album Mad Love in 2016, which climbed up to the sixth spot in the US album charts. The album, however, did not have any successful single releases. She found their own record label, which is also releasing good to know.

 

 

JoJo – good to know – Track by Track

The album contains nine songs and lasts 29 minutes. There is an explicit and a clean version of the album. The physical version seems to include an intro and an outro in addition.

1. So Bad

This slow R&B pop track is the first track of the album. It’s got quite a nice groove, so it is one of the more impressive tracks on the album to me. Maybe a bit too slow and too defensive to dance and to groovy and to rhythmic to relax. but a nice production.

2. Pedialyte

Good morning, need to get up
Get myself together
Open up the blackout blinds
Unbottle my emotions
Sippin’ on a potion
Last night was a real good time
I don’t know if I’m hungover
Or if I’m drunk right now, but
People keep on calling, I don’t do no talking
Last night was a real good time

Pedialyte somehow comes with a similar character than the first track: it feels like a cool dance track, but it is simply a bit too slow for that. Bad luck, I enjoy listening to Jojo definitely.

3. Gold

Gold is a bit more on the black music side, even has a touch of soul to me. It is a nice production, but overall the song just has too limited character to exceed average level. To me, it is even lower than that.

4. Man

Well, damn
I’m gonna need a fuckin’ man
Someone who want me like a fan
I need somebody who can love me like I love me
Love me like I can, yeah

Man is definitely one of the finer tracks – and especially in the middle of the song, Jojo shows that she still has quite some potential. More than average, but no reason that you need to buy the album.

5. Small Things

Small Things is one the tracks I enjoyed most on good to know. JoJo proofs her great voice and musical range in this minimal arrangement which gives a clear focus on her great voice.

6. Lonely Hearts

Lovely Hearts is another track with a strong focus on the lyrics, but also with a much stronger R&B touch. Fans of the genre will likely name this song as one of their favorites – and I have to agree that this track is definitely a nice listen.

7. Think About You

I could point out the great musical talent again – but if you do that too often, the album is either a blast or a mess. Think About You is a song, which is definitely more on the latter side. I really feel sorry about that – towards the end, there are some really nice passages, but the total 3:48 minute ride is just too defensive.

8. Comeback (feat. Tory Lanez & 30 Roc)

If you want to go for the Comeback, better don’t come with this song (even despite of the double support by Tory Lanez and 30 Roc). To me, this is – by far – the weakest and most confusing song of the album.

9. Don’t Talk Me Down

Damn, shall I praise Jojo for that track or totally turn her down for it? The piano track Don’t Talk Me Down is outstanding and another proof of her amazing voice. On the other hand, it feels so sad to me that some of the tracks in here don’t make use of that. So incredibly sad.

 

JoJo – good to know – Spotify

This is the good to know Spotify widget

 

JoJo – good to know – My View

This one is sooo tough. I love Jojo’s music and her voice – and the album contains the lovely Don’t Talk Me Down and some other nice songs – but overall, it is too weak. I guess the album will be a great milestone for her nevertheless, emancipating from a history of a lot of legal trouble and now being able with her own label to record the music she wants to do. Some of the tracks are already good, some are maybe also some sort of try-out. Even though I feel that good to know is average, I am looking forward to her future music.

 

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2 thoughts on “JoJo – good to know

  1. Reality Check

    This review is so fucking lazy, its so sad! Why didn’t you just title it ” everything should be a club banger and if tis not its therefore weak”? This album experiments with texture, wordplay and so many other things that make it a deeper listen than someone who probably mainlines drake and ariana all day. I’m so bored with reviewers like you. You have no points of reference to even compare it to because its clear you’re not well-listened. Stop being lazy. Do research. If not, being a reviewer is pointless because your opinions don’t really mean shit. IF you’re not propping up projects you DO like and have anything real to contribute, just do everyone a favor and shut the fuck up! People work very hard on their music.

    1. Florian Buechting Post author

      Thanks for your feedback. Using appropriate language would help us all to have a proper discussion. I am very happy to discuss my view on the album.

      I did listen to the album four times before starting the review. This is more than I do in average – and also more time than you can usually spent to an album when you review it, even in professional media.
      I am not a native speaker and thus I may miss some of the wordplays you mention – but overall, I am comparably fluent in English and “dare” to review music. My musical background, by the way, is country music, where storytelling and writing lyrics is much more in focus than in pop music – so I am far away from “everything should be a club banger”. The song I rated best, by the way, is not a “club banger” at all…

      I feel that overall, the review is not bad at all. My votings range from 0 to 5.0 and I just assigned 5.0 once, to an instrumental album by the way. I make use of the full range of voting. 2.5 is average and this album is 3.3 – so it is almost in the upper third of albums I listened to. Music to be is a combination of technical skills, melody and lyrics (in case you have them). There is no doubt about Jojo’s technical skills and I clearly praised them. There are some highlights in the lyrics, but some of the some just do not transport the message to me. That is what music is about for me. I want to get caught by a story. Some songs of this album do that in a good, one even in an excellent way. But some do not. Thus, I feel that an overall rating of 3.3 is absolutely appropriate.

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