JoJo makes a triumphant return with Mad Love. her third album after a decade’s long legal dispute with her previous label.
Serving as the fuel to her fire Joanna “JoJo” Levesque is a true representation of overcoming life’s hardships and procuring a gem out of the rubble.
The first track “Music.” is a raw telling of her humble beginnings: “Mom was on her knees cleaning houses/I used to go to work with her some days/And dream and dance in the big hallways”. She also delves into the loss of her father: “My only hope is that he’s looking down thinking/”Oh my God, my daughter’s doing it now”” – her voice puts to rest any doubts or judgements of her return to music.
The debut album from her new partnership with Atlantic brings to light the darkest moments in Levesque’s life. “Clovers.” is an eye-opening introspection into the battles she faced with her own mind. “Couldn’t shake that dark cloud off of me/Finally know how fast I got to run/Now I’m on the move for my kingdom come.” A touching reminder that we can win any battle we face and find beauty in every moment.
“Mad Love.” as the title track takes you back to a time of big band sound with a modern charm. Her soul bleeds out with every carefully crafted word she gracefully exclaims. Levesque transports us to a time of soulful doo-wops and billowing trumpets. Her Aretha-like flair puts her voice at the forefront of pure talent.
The singer penned almost all of the songs on the album including “Like This.” which exudes her sensual prowess. A sexy bass-throbbing track dripping with the allure of hidden dances in dimly lit corners. Her words trickle off her tongue as if she’s whispering in your ear. From start to finish you’re hooked on her clever quips and carefully timed vocal range.
Transitioning into another sensual ballad, the breathy “Edibles.” we’ll leave you wanting more. She slips her words in like a thief in the night, “If you wanna come eat edibles/Do some freaky shit incredible/I’m your girl, I’m your girl.” If you, too, expected a song about a bad batch of edibles hold back your judgments and relax to this auditory experience.
JoJo proves she’s a versatile powerhouse with the anthem “I Am.” “It’s time to change up the game/Can’t be that little girl no more” the words penned by her own hand and spoken by her soulful voice. She knows her worth and shares the crucial knowledge of how to love yourself.
Levesque’s choice of collaborators include Wiz Khalifa on the defiant “F*** Apologies.” Another heavy hitter, “FAB.” leaves no survivors with the support of Remy Ma. The dream collaboration come to life belongs to “I Can Only.” featuring Alessia Cara. The two most socially conscious women on the airwaves singing their hearts out – what a time to be alive.
JoJo’s album drips with sincerity, honesty and unfiltered thoughts – a formula that will garner her the throne of the R&B world.