Jojo Brings a Lust-Story to Life
Jojo is an artist that I believe has never had an issue with opening up to her audience. Even in her self-titled 2004 album, the R&B star, who was just 12 at the time, seemed to have a cut throat attitude right out of the gate and the vocals to back up her claims. However years have past and Jojo’s maturity as an artist has been incredible to capture. After listening to her ruthless 2016 release, Mad Love., I was eager to delve into her latest project.
Jojo’s newest release was unlike any other project I’ve heard from her, mostly because it didn’t rely solely on her incredible vocal talent but instead really brought in a softer side to not only her vocals, but her lyrics. The singer really let her notes sizzle on the back burner while her story took center stage. Good To Know seems to chronicle a lust-story, with Jojo as our star heroin, and the album oozes….well sex, and she isn’t being around the bush about it.
Right from the beginning we are hit with the first track “So Bad” which alludes to a partner that our star is so mesmerized by that she’s willing to take less than political correct risks for. Jojo brings us along her the adulterous ride by setting the scene with lyrics like “I’ll be in a trench coat, back of the bar in the shadows we can keep it simple / wear your hat low / Act like you don’t know me if they ask you, if they ask you.” I swear the whole time I thought that Jojo would have been one quote tweet away from cancelled if she had tweeted these lyrics instead of singing. However, if you listen to the next song, Pedialyte, a sultry hangover of a track, I think that Jojo is pretty self-aware as she seeks any sense of accountability.
Even if the candor can seem a little off-base during a casual listen, I do believe that it’s Jojo’s candidness about sexual encounters that I find endearing in the following tracks of this story. Her lavish claims in the lyrics of her song Gold describing a partner to being something comparable to a deity and the dramatics of a later track “Don’t Talk Me Down” that silences someone because the thought of being with the is too much to handle, this tracklist almost drown you with the weight of lust tied to them.
Jojo also discusses the gravity of heartbreak for a large portion of the album. The emptiness she feels isn’t hard to catch when you compare tracks like the ego-driven song “Man” where the songstress explains that her partner must match her own self-love levels to tracks like “Think of You” that have you lingering the shadows of a former love while trying to move on. Jojo’s uncomfortably pleading lyrics like “If you wanna fight, fuck me out of spite / If you need to hate me that’s fine.” are in stark contrast with the former’s hook that expresses that she needs someone who “can love me like I love me.”
This contrast allowed me to see a grander picture when you look at the album as a whole. Relationships, situationships or whatever it may be can be extremely draining and you can really lose sight of yourself and your morality whilst in the thick of it if you truly let go and that can cost your security in the future. Although Jojo’s lyrics may be simple, they are vulnerable and spoken with such clear honesty that makes you feel like you’re watching a romantic drama film right before your eyes. The important thing to remember when going into Good To Know is that Jojo is a storyteller, and I believe that the arc she’s created in this album has solidified that.
Favorite Songs: Pedialyte, Lonely Hearts, Don’t Talk Me Down.
Stream Good To Know