Friday, September 26, 2008

Flashback: JoJo

While most pre-teens care about school, friends and fashion, JoJo was making her debut album at thirteen, something only a select few get to accomplish, let alone start. By the time she was fourteen, she had a US platinum-certified adult contemporary number one single('Leave'), beating Britney Spears as the youngest solo artist with a number one single in ANY US chart.
Only months after that feat, her debut album was released. It hit the top five, coming in at four and selling nearly a hundred thousand copies in it's first week alone. JoJo was suddenly on top of the world and at fourteen, she was probably just as overwhelmed as she was successful.
The album itself is a cool mix of R&B and mainstream pop, channeling JoJo's strengths and conveniently hiding her weaknesses, like what I think an ideal debut album should sound like. It should show people who the artist is, what he/she can do and most importantly, hide all possible flaws in production, songwriting and the vocals.
Before I heard her second effort, I thought this was all the work of the producers, except for maybe one or two songs but apparently not. Her second album was different, very different but I heard the similarities, I heard the transition of a girl to a teenager, of a new artist to an experienced one.
So what does that all mean? It means that even if she was just a young girl when this album was made, she had as much creative input with the album as she wanted to have. The album was a reflection of who she was at the time, and maybe even who she wanted to be.

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