JoJo: "good to know" Review
Updated: Nov 2, 2020
After almost 4 years, the beauty that is Joanna "JoJo" Levesque is back and better! On her fourth album, "good to know" JoJo delivers mature, grown & sexy sensations that separate her from the young girl we've seen grow up in the music industry. Released Friday (May 1), good to know holds only 9 songs, runs for only 30 minutes, and follows her 2016 album, Mad Love. However, in those 30 minutes, JoJo changes your life with just one listen. good to know also marks the 29 year-old's first project since departing from Atlantic Records and initiating her Clover Music imprint with Warner Records.
During an interview with Billboard JoJo described her album saying, "I called the album Good to Know because of everything I’ve learned in the past few years – every piece of feedback, criticism (internal or external), whatever it is – it’s all just information. And it’s all good!" She continued saying, "I’ve been lucky to have the space to reflect on my own journey up to now, and I hope people can take comfort in the fact that I am not anywhere near perfect, and I will never sugarcoat anything. We are all constantly living and learning, and that’s what makes this life so fun."
good to know holds only one feature, coming from Tory Lanez and 30 Roc. The album includes the lovely singles: the demanding "Man" and the utterly moving "Lonely Hearts."
On the album's opener, "So Bad," JoJo explodes with pure sexual prowess. Declaring that she is not a child any more, she lets her soul ooze throughout the slow-burning Sir Dylan & Doc Mckinney-produced record. The song places JoJo as the woman watching her old lover in the eyes of someone else, but knowing that she could never do for him what JoJo has done. There's a hint of unfinished sexual tension between the two and she's willing to exploit it.
As we continue, JoJo gives listeners an anthem of life as she recovers from a night of having one too many drinks on "Pedialyte." We've all been there, going out with friends, significant others, etc., having a few too many drinks, and feeling like we've been beaten to oblivion by the Incredible Hulk. Many have even said they would never drink again (how long did that last?). Over the hazy production, JoJo's vocals shine brighter than the sun as she declares that even with the hangover, every day of life calls for a celebration. "Gold" brings about JoJo the grown woman again as she is mesmerized by how well her partner loves her perfectly. On "Small Things," the songstress puts her vocal ability on full display throughout the heartfelt, acoustic ballad, singing about pretending to be ok when internally she is not. Battling with her emotions, JoJo engages with an internal conflict on "Think About You." With prime-time toxic energy, she can't help but think about her old flame. Even in the arms of a new lover, she reflects on the former's love, sex, and more. Engulfing her mind, she cannot rid herself of these emotions.
Towards the end of the album, JoJo's inner freak bursts completely through. Showing no shame, she fully emancipates herself on "Comeback." Assisted by Tory Lanez and 30 Roc, the trio bring the smooth sultry strobe light-in-the-party appeal. She sings about tenacious sex between her partner, the way her body reacts to his loving, and more. Tory Lanez flaunts his sexual prowess in such a way, the images nearly infiltrate your mind. This track is a direct statement as JoJo says, that little girl you knew back in the 2000's? yeah, she's gone; This is me.
Ending the album with the classical piano-lead, "Don't Talk Me Down," JoJo leaves her heart on her sleeve. She brings the passion, grit, and power as she belts out every feeling and emotion. She reminds listeners that this white girl can indeed bring down any house with her monumental R&B essence.
good to Know acts as a... reintroduction to JoJo. Many of us may remember the young teen back in 2004 who chanted "Get Out," at the top of her lungs. However, her story does not end there. With renewed vision, JoJo uses this moment right now to bask in her newfound freedom musically, mentally, and emotionally. Raw and confident, good to know radiates utter liberation and maturation. It opens a brand-new chapter JoJo's life as she starts afresh. I give good to know a 7/10.
While she was set to start touring for the album this Spring, plans have now been pushed back and rescheduled due to Covid-19.
You can stream JoJo's "good to know" below on Apple Music and elsewhere on all streaming platforms.