If you were around in the early 2000s, chances are you know who JoJo is. The singer and actress became a teen pop star after her 2004 hit single “Leave (Get Out)” made her the youngest singer to get a No. 1 song on the Hot 100 Chart. In addition, JoJo also help defined the early millennium when she starred in the 2006 film Aquamarine, and recorded her effortlessly catchy song, “Too Little, Too Late.”
However, over the past decade, JoJo has been less active in the entertainment industry, so fans were thrilled when she released her new album Oct. 14. Mad Love is her first album since The High Road was released almost 10 years ago in October 2006.
JoJo’s lengthy hiatus was, in part, due to a seven-year legal battle with her former label, Blackground Records. After trying unsuccessfully to release her third album for several years under the record company, she tried to switch labels. However, she was unable to break her contract because of the seven-album deal she signed when she was only 12 years old.
“I got on a cycle of not loving myself and not believing that I really had a future,” JoJo told Rolling Stone earlier this week.
Her story prompts questions about the record company industry as other artists come forward with similar accounts, most recently pop artist Kesha. Fans tweeted #FreeJoJo in an effort to bring more publicity to the issue.
— Trick-or-Tay (@BackTAYreality) October 14, 2016
JoJo was finally released from her contract in 2014 and began a partnership with Atlantic Records to release Mad Love. The album shows how she has matured since her earlier music, covering a range of serious topics, which include her complex relationship with music as well as family. The first track on the album, “Music,” is about her relationship with her father.
“Tell me who, who would I be without you?” JoJo sings in the heart-wrenching song.
Not all the songs are as emotionally heavy, though. “High Heels,” a catchy song about moving on from a bad relationship, is perfect for getting your confidence up for a first night out after a break-up.
Several of the tracks include other artists such as Alessia Cara. Wiz Khalifa is also included in “F*** Apologies,” a track that is surprisingly upbeat despite its seemingly contradictory title.
Though it’s definitely different from her older stuff, Mad Love is the epitome of a comeback album. It shows JoJo’s growth as an artist, yet features all of the qualities that made her popular in the first place.
Welcome back, JoJo. We’ve missed you.