no comprehensive JoJo thread exists as far as I can tell, so here's one, predicated upon "Demonstrate"

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2008: heard her 2 year old "Too Little, Too Late" for the first time; was transfixed; learned it was written by Billy Steinberg (who I learned yesterday wrote Demi Lovato's striking "Giver your Heart a Break"). Checked out "Leave (get out)" upon which "TL, TL" seems to improve, in that she could convey the sentiment a lot better as a 15-16 year old. She grew up in parts of New England that are not known (at least by me) for producing gifted R&B/pop singers.

Couldn't find anything else under her name that I much dug for awhile. But I half-watched a shitty Robin Williams movie one night, and there she was! She appeared in Keri Hilson's video for "The Way You love Me" = R&B cred move.

She's been preparing a new album for some four years, probly riding out one cycle after another…"in the dark" from her mixtape, didn't move me…and she again re-tooled "Leave/TL, TL" as the Kelly Clarkson manqué "disaster" last year…

I see that many folks via "Rolling Pop" and "Rolling R&B" threads took note of her take on "Marvin's Room," which is pretty fucking great. I also see that her collaborator has not only made a lotta tunes with his pal Drake, but a shit-ton of r&b from the past three or so years that I adore.

So this brings us to "Demonstrate," again with Shebib. was startled to learn that a song on R&B radio that I liked as much as Melanie Fiona's "4 am" and Kirko Bangz's sinister "drank in my cup" was not Brandy, but Jojo's new shit. good gawd, what a beguiling melody… I dig the fuck out of the auto-tuned enabled vocal run "baby there's a lot freaky shit…"; doing as Drake does is a pretty solid foundation for me liking a song these days, much less making an album along those lines, which is evidently what she gonna do. Additionally, I've read folks saying that this tune is derived from Kelly Rowland's "Motivation," which I don't get…

So…am I off base in thinking that there's an intelligence to what this gal does, distinct from, oh I dunno, Selena Gomez (no knock on her: "I love you like a love song" is so so nasty). I guess the one-time child star grows up paradigm is a venerable one…but there's something about her I can't put my finger on…mebbe she's just rilly good and gifted or some shit…

thread I started four years ago which has seen some recent activity : the thread regarding JoJo's "Too Little Too Late"

veronica moser, Friday, 31 August 2012 15:18 (seven years ago) link

But I half-watched a shitty Robin Williams movie one night, and there she was!

Good ol' RV, I was just randomly thinking about that today due to the Robin Williams returns to TV news.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 31 August 2012 15:25 (seven years ago) link

um yeah, that's a pretty great one.

curious about that autotune-enabled vocal run, which is teased by the guitar figure that opens the song and then doubled by that guitar every time it happens: could any current female singer cover that range without autotune?

fact checking cuz, Friday, 31 August 2012 19:53 (seven years ago) link

i have adored in the dark, marvin's room and demonstrate; i agree that there is something very special about JoJo as she is manifested on these tracks. something intelligent, real, and passionate. v unique in my mind.

surm, Friday, 31 August 2012 19:58 (seven years ago) link

also they're all about being fucked up, sexually

doesn't get much more truthful than that

surm, Friday, 31 August 2012 20:09 (seven years ago) link

she has always come across as much older than she actually is.

fact checking cuz, Friday, 31 August 2012 20:11 (seven years ago) link

Is there any reason to assume it's "autotune enabled"? That run only seems to cover about an octave and a half (correct me if wrong, I'm terrible at hearing intervals) and she reaches just as low and higher still at other parts of the song. Sounds like she's going from vocal fry (which she uses at a couple other points in the verses) to chest voice to head voice, four sixteenth notes in each register, during the run but reserves her falsetto for the chorus. It seems like something an unskilled singer would have problems with but shouldn't be an issue to a reasonably skilled singer. Where is DJP when he's needed?

At any rate, this song is tremendous and that's the best part.

The Reverend, Friday, 31 August 2012 20:14 (seven years ago) link

well it sounds like autotune for starters. but, yeah, it's not how many octaves she's spanning but rather how she's hitting all those low notes -- starting on G-sharp two octaves below middle C if me and my piano aren't mistaken -- so clearly and rapidly. that's the low end of the baritone range.

fact checking cuz, Friday, 31 August 2012 20:35 (seven years ago) link

I'm a baritone and I can sing it a full octave lower, so presumably that's right around the bottom of an alto range. I'm not sure what "sounds like autotune" means if there aren't any obvious artifacts.

The Reverend, Friday, 31 August 2012 22:24 (seven years ago) link

And that note is G# right below middle C, isn't it?

The Reverend, Friday, 31 August 2012 22:34 (seven years ago) link

well either way they do like to use effects on her voice, i think to render her a little harder and contrast the softer breaks in her vocals more dramatically

surm, Saturday, 1 September 2012 01:56 (seven years ago) link

i think a big part of her new slant is the binary btw toughness and vulnerability. there is something decidedly sad there.

surm, Saturday, 1 September 2012 01:58 (seven years ago) link

three months pass...

mixtape due on the 20th

#YOLO ONO (lex pretend), Monday, 3 December 2012 11:22 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...

great interview. no surprise that "marvin's room" was borne out of a terrible hangover

lex pretend, Thursday, 31 January 2013 17:20 (seven years ago) link

"Andre" is such a dope song

Differ of Narcissus (The Reverend), Friday, 1 February 2013 02:51 (seven years ago) link

love this:

I’ve seen every possible Joni Mitchell interview, from every decade of her career. I’m obsessed. The whole Court and Spark album really speaks to me. She doesn’t notice the affection of all these men, because she’s too busy being free, and she’s not focused on them, she kind of uses them as she wishes. She’s strong and powerful and vulnerable and messed up.

Would you ever do a cover album of Joni songs?

Yeah, but didn’t Herbie Hancock just do that?

[Embarrassed silence.]

It won best album!

twinkin' and drinkin' and ready to fly (Alex in Montreal), Friday, 1 February 2013 04:07 (seven years ago) link

re: can she do those runs without autotune?

i think she's doing most of them here live

twinkin' and drinkin' and ready to fly (Alex in Montreal), Thursday, 7 February 2013 07:45 (seven years ago) link

she also does a pretty killer version of andre

and one of too little too late.

the label really needs to stop fucking around with her and let her put out an album

twinkin' and drinkin' and ready to fly (Alex in Montreal), Thursday, 7 February 2013 07:46 (seven years ago) link

xp that's pretty great and, um, I hereby withdraw my autotune question from near the beginning of the thread. (but there is some kind of effect that's messing with her timbre at the beginnng of that run in the studio version.)

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 7 February 2013 08:50 (seven years ago) link

oh for sure there is. i just think it's an aesthetic decision and not a capability one

twinkin' and drinkin' and ready to fly (Alex in Montreal), Thursday, 7 February 2013 08:51 (seven years ago) link

as early as leave her shtick was little girl big range iirc

twinkin' and drinkin' and ready to fly (Alex in Montreal), Thursday, 7 February 2013 08:52 (seven years ago) link

woah, that video. i had no idea her range was so big

monotony, Thursday, 7 February 2013 08:57 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...

looking great in the "andre" video, albeit she seems to have uploaded it in the wrong aspect ratio

SUCH a good song though

flamenco drop (lex pretend), Thursday, 21 March 2013 16:19 (six years ago) link

"Take the Canyon" is my sleeper fave off this

cunnilingus ah um (The Reverend), Friday, 29 March 2013 17:31 (six years ago) link

two weeks pass...

rolling stone interview. once more, she seems like a really smart, on-it girl stuck in a fucked-up label situation

flamenco drop (lex pretend), Thursday, 18 April 2013 19:57 (six years ago) link

umm not only did I start this thread, but I'm the interviewer of the piece above, and was VERY surprised that my pitch was accepted.

I knew that she and i would get along, but I wasn't sure what she would make of a 42-year old who professed great admiration towards her würks.

As to the autotune perplex discussed above, I did not include a passage about that, cuz, y'know, Rolling Stone is not gonna be invested in getting down in the R&B production weeds…However you guys are! So! Herewith!

Q: s the first note of the vocal scale/run that you do right before the chorus ("baby there's a lot of…) treated electronically?

A: I had to take a reeeeaaaal deep breath to get that note out. 40 made sure I sang it live, so I think the volume was just gained so we can hear the tone properly.

veronica moser, Thursday, 18 April 2013 20:15 (six years ago) link

lol i was just wondering about you, because when i was searching for the jojo thread, i noticed that there were two, and despite the title of this, the other was also started by you! kudos on getting the pitch accepted, i haven't even tried because it seems like a hiding to nothing, but the few short interviews i've read with her lately do make me think she'd be great to talk to.

jojo superfans do tend to be all "no seriously this is one of the most technically gifted singers alive" and in lieu of hearing that sort of stuff myself i tend to believe them

flamenco drop (lex pretend), Thursday, 18 April 2013 20:26 (six years ago) link

eight months pass...

this is really awesome news, I'm very happy for her

pearly-dewdrops' bops (monotony), Wednesday, 15 January 2014 10:24 (six years ago) link


lex pretend, Wednesday, 15 January 2014 10:26 (six years ago) link

whoop whoop

Emined - FAP God (The Reverend), Wednesday, 15 January 2014 10:43 (six years ago) link

i root for her more than most 'onetime stars turned internet cause celebre' type cases, so that's good to hear. but i also had the cynical reaction of, well of course after 2013 a major label is like yes we want more white R&B singers.

some dude, Wednesday, 15 January 2014 11:59 (six years ago) link

four weeks pass... - free EP for valentine's day

pearly-dewdrops' bops (monotony), Friday, 14 February 2014 21:32 (six years ago) link

this is dope. Phil Collins!

Jody Beth Frozen (some dude), Friday, 14 February 2014 21:53 (six years ago) link

her voice is so great now

prolego, Friday, 14 February 2014 22:04 (six years ago) link

The "Rapture" cover :O

imago draggin' (The Reverend), Saturday, 15 February 2014 03:59 (six years ago) link

Awww. When you said "Rapture" cover, I was expecting "House of Jealous Lovers".

MarkoP, Saturday, 15 February 2014 04:09 (six years ago) link


imago draggin' (The Reverend), Saturday, 15 February 2014 06:10 (six years ago) link

one month passes...

haha the second tweet kinda undermines the "no shade" in the first tweet.

Tim F, Sunday, 16 March 2014 12:58 (five years ago) link

six months pass...

Thanks Jojo, for making sure I know to introduce this woman as working with the Agapé Choir, and not the Agape Choir! haha

bobby shmorbius (The Reverend), Wednesday, 24 September 2014 20:50 (five years ago) link


dyl, Wednesday, 24 September 2014 20:52 (five years ago) link

six months pass...

very "Stay"

katherine, Thursday, 16 April 2015 00:57 (four years ago) link


this song!

lex pretend, Thursday, 16 April 2015 08:15 (four years ago) link

four months pass...

The much trailed Tringle is now streaming at

Jeff W, Thursday, 20 August 2015 18:06 (four years ago) link

"Save My Soul" is the pick of the three, I think

Jeff W, Thursday, 20 August 2015 18:15 (four years ago) link

they're... okay? idk i'm not as excited as i would have hoped

dyl, Thursday, 20 August 2015 19:41 (four years ago) link

three months pass...

When Love Hurts sounded great with the roots on fallon

Spottie, Wednesday, 2 December 2015 06:49 (four years ago) link

two weeks pass...

new ep. ill-suited 90s house karaoke; the stand-out is the full version of one of the agape cuts

i was expecting a loooooot more from this comeback

cher guevara (lex pretend), Friday, 18 December 2015 21:25 (four years ago) link

haven't heard this yet, but I really liked the Anita Baker and Phil Collins covers on the first LoveJo EP. I wouldn't take this as a sign of what her comeback is, after all it's just an installment in her series of cover EPs.

boring alt-reality reverend (The Reverend), Saturday, 19 December 2015 01:27 (four years ago) link

four years pass...

Thybulle on the Dash (Spottie), Thursday, 13 February 2020 17:42 (two weeks ago) link

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