Monday, August 29, 2011
JoJo - Disaster
I know I sound like a broken record already when I say this, but I cannot stress enough the fact that JoJo was the act who started my interest for pop music altogether, and even if I've branched out from her long ago, I've always been waiting - she was more than just a part of my childhood, she was my childhood. She was a role model, yes, but she also allowed me to explore music on my own, away from the (very strong) influence of my family, especially my dad. She brought me where I am today, and the least I can do is wait for her to come back.
AND SHE'S BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!! For real this time - "Disaster" is the official first single from the new album. We don't have the song in HQ yet, but just by the MQ rip I can safely say that this will be fierce competition for my favorite song of the year! (Unless of course she betters this on the album, which is highly possible) "Jumping Trains" was good, it sparked interest in her again, and after waiting for so long it was more than welcome, but listening to it now it's more of an album track than it is a single. "Disaster" sounds like single-material.
It's also been a while since I've written about Western music, and with the industry rapidly changing, forgive me if I overlook some things or make mistakes. Majority of my brain is still stuck in 2009, I'm sorry.
There's so much going on in the song, but the main point of the song is that when I was listening to it, it's as if I was taken back to 2006. If someone put this in to "The High Road" before telling me it's the new single, I would've thought it was some hidden track I never heard. It's as if the 5-year gap between albums never happened, and we're all still in 2007 or something. Of course her voice has matured, and that's the big giveaway, but just taking the song itself - the arrangement, the melody, the choice of instruments - it's so 2006. The melody is gorgeous, yes, but also the way it was put together in relation to each part has a distinct sound. The guitars at the beginning sound like they came from Jesse McCartney's first album (which was my guilty pleasure back then, thank you very much) or a Disney pop star single, the arrangement, with the strings at the middle 8 that slowly build up to the explosion at the end - whoa.
I missed this.
So back to the "it's like she never stopped" point. That just shows that the JoJo we heard back then is still the JoJo we hear now - no "radical transformations", nothing shocking, she just grew up. And when you grow up you don't completely change yourself - you better what you think should be improved, but you're still the same person. With the same brain, the same identity. That's what the point of "Disaster" is - to show us that the JoJo we heard on "The High Road" may have grown up, but she's still JoJo, and even back then she was sure of who she was musically.
It's also such a powerful song. When you think acoustic guitar you usually think boring, laid-back and not really gutsy or anything, but like I said, there's something about the combination of everything that just sounds, and feels right. And we're back to my favorite statement - music is half heard, half felt. What you hear will determine what you feel, and after the nostalgia, the song is very fluid, but it has punch, I was smiling like a madwoman at the melody, but at the same time the very heavy, gutsy instrumentation was a welcome contradiction. It's not one-dimensional - I've listened to it almost a dozen times now and every time I listen to it I hear something new. It has enough detail to keep us listening, but the major parts - the melody, the arrangement, the instruments - are strong enough to leave an impression.
For fans who've been with her since the very beginning, me included, this is like a trip down memory lane. This is what we've been waiting for, and it most definitely does not fail to impress. For new listeners, this single will show off not only her gorgeous voice (which not has such a beautiful, deep timbre) but her musical identity - this is who she is, and who she's always been. And she's back.