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The High Road

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Album Review

Released when she was just 13 years old, vocalist Jojo's 2004 eponymous debut was a bona fide hit album and garnered the young pop star a legion of equally youthful fans, as well as lead roles in two films, including the 2006 comedy RV alongside Robin Williams. To say that the release of her 2006 sophomore effort, The High Road, finds Jojo on the cusp of superstardom is a bit of an understatement. Featuring production and songs by such in demand hitmakers as Swizz Beatz, Soulshock, and Scott Storch — the man who made Paris Hilton sound good — it should come as little surprise that The High Road is a commercially oriented, radio-friendly contemporary pop-R&B album. What may be a surprise is that it is really, really good. These are well-written, catchy pop songs with a healthy dose of hip-hop rhythm that serve as solid launching pads for Jojo's superb vocal abilities. Coming off as a kind of urbanized Jennifer Aniston with the chops of Beyoncé, Jojo is an assured and likeable performer who can somehow embody the yin-yang persona of a suburban cheerleader slinging hip-hop attitude, as she does in the video for the ridiculously overwrought and utterly addictive lead-off single, "Too Little Too Late." It also helps that she's matured just enough so that her somewhat sexy persona makes a bit more sense now than it did in 2004, and she easily sells the cheeky and raw dance-funk of such tracks as "This Time" and "The Way You Do Me." However, it's the blissfully melodic ballads and mid-tempo anthems that make the biggest impression here. Cuts such as the gorgeous and dreamy "Like That" and "Anything," with its unexpectedly hip sampling of Toto's "Africa," make for gleefully enjoyable guilty pleasures. Similarly, "Good Ol'" is the best summer anthem ever to see release in the fall, and "'Comin' for You" smartly borrows some of Kelly Clarkson's rock energy. While Jojo may not be taking a career road less traveled, The High Road does make time for some surprising and memorable pit stops along the way.

Customer Reviews

Beyond her years

This album is AMAZING, Jojo has a voice beyond her years!! This album offers so much. I love the way that she has used Toto's 'Africa' in the song 'Anything'. 'Coming For You' is really catchy. The beats on these songs are great, crank up the dial!!!!

Jojo at her best

Jojo has really outdone herself on her second highly anticipated album. 'Anything' is a great song with 'Coming For You' a song you're likely to bust out the lyrics on your iPod. Fantastic Music!!!

Really improved.

Jojo seriously has a voice for someone so young. She is an incredible singer and you can really hear the improvement from her 1st album and this one. A lot of people need to stop judging on her appearance and realise that this chick can effin SANG. She is and inspiration and I can see her going far... The songs I loved the most were Too little too late, The High Road (Great uplifting song), Coming For you (catchy beat), let it rain (Lovin' the beat also), and the Remake of Totos Africa Anything. Oh and Jojo totally deserves THE HIGH ROAD title. Stop comparing her with people who have like 10 (?) years on her. She is a lot better than many singers her age... And Might I say people like Hilary Duff who can't even sing live are always at the top of everything. Besides she is not copying the name from Fort Minor, do realise that the song wasn't written by her, and anyone could of used the high road as a album name aswell. And we use that phrase on a day to day basis. IMO. This album is very mature I will say first and foremost, for a 16 year old to be singing about, But her astounding voice has definitely drawn my attention to this girl. Keep up the good work Jojo!

Biography

Born: 20 December 1990 in Brattleboro, VT

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Growing up in Foxborough, Massachusetts, R&B-pop singer JoJo (born Joanna Noelle Blagden Levesque in Brattleboro, Vermont) listened and learned as her mother practiced hymns. She started singing by imitating her mother, but quickly put her own spin on everything from nursery rhymes to pop tunes. An ad in the paper announcing open auditions for the television show Kids Say the Darndest Things: On the Road in Boston led to the young singer wowing the audience along with the show's host, Bill Cosby,...
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The High Road, JoJo
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