Artist JoJo has experienced a career that acts as a cautionary tale for other singers. The Boston native broke onto the music scene in her preteens, with songs like Leave (Get Out) and Too Little Too Late catapulting her to the top of the charts in the mid 2000s. Her combination of pop and R&B was the sound the biggest artists of the decade were chasing. With a voice beyond her years and a face made to be on the cover of magazines, JoJo seemed primed to the next Britney, Christina or Jessica.
That all came to a screeching halt in 2009 when JoJo launched the first of two lawsuits. The singer sued Da Family Entertainment and later Blackground Records, effectively tying up her ability to release and promote an album for years. With her career in legal limbo, JoJo worked to remain relevant in the music biz by releasing three mixtapes, including Can’t Take That Away From Me in 2010, Agápē in 2012 and most recently, #LoveJo last year.
Finally free of her legal troubles and under a new contract with Atlantic Records, JoJo is set to release her third album Tringle, the first since 2006’s The High Road. The singer had promised to premiere three new songs on her webpage IAmJoJoOfficial.com tomorrow, but surprised fans by dropping the tracks on her website today (you can listen to them here).
Say Love shows off JoJo’s strong trademark vocals, possibly selling her talent to an unnecessary degree. It’s easy to hear why fans have stayed with the singer throughout the years thanks to her incredible voice, but Say Love would likely have been just as powerful a ballad with a few less runs and high notes.
Save My Soul, on the other hand, is a break out track, displaying JoJo’s musical versatility and talent for penning heart-wrenching break up anthems. The song starts off as a simple and haunting piano ballad, a sound we would have loved to hear continue throughout the track. Picking up the pace and a few instruments along the way, JoJo launches into a powerful performance of a woman who has lost love in a painful way and lived to tell about it.
Trying her hand at dance music, the final sneak peek for Tringle is Love Hurts, a high tempo EDM-influenced track that could have easily found a home on the latest Leona Lewis or Selena Gomez album. It’s a catchy pop number that would likely do relatively well as a single, but it lacks the substance and memorable quality that we’ve come to expect from JoJo’s mixtapes.
Almost ten years between album releases is a lot of pressure on an artist, especially one who was in the midst of finding her sound as an adult when her career came to a screeching halt. Though the first three tracks are giving us some mixed results for JoJo’s highly anticipated comeback, we’re still excited to hear what the rest of Tringle has to offer. It’s been a long time coming.