Album Review: JoJo – “Mad Love.”

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It’s been a long time coming and JoJo has finally dropped her long-awaited third album, Mad Love.

The pop star released her debut single “Leave (Get Out)” at the age of thirteen, then dropped her second album High Road back in 2006 and that was her last big release. Conflicts with her record label prevented her from releasing new music. All we heard from her over the past decade were the occasional mixtapes and single tracks. Now after breaking free from her contract with Blackground Records, JoJo has regained her freedom. She has signed with Atlantic Records and her major sigh of relief is in the form of a 15-track album totaling 55 minutes.

Mad Love. turns her tales of love, family and friendship into a bold mature statement. The opening track “Music.” chronicles the struggles she endured during her hiatus, “Tell me who, who would I be without you/ No matter how much we lose, every time I bet my life on you.”

With only three features, the track list leaves room for JoJo to say what she has to say and make up for lost time. The first single “F*** Apologies” feat Wiz Khalifa dropped back in July and this empowering anthem kicked off JoJo’s comeback with evident confidence.

The 25-year-old isn’t holding anything back and her second single “FAB” feat Remy Ma made that very clear. “These fake ass bitches, when they smile in your face but behind you it ain’t well wishes,” she sings full of attitude over an R&B beat and a poppy chorus. “I Can Only” feat. Alessia Cara, known for her individualistic ways, fits somewhere between a ballad and anthem with lyrics that come with the experience of being judged and scrutinized.

Mad Love.  is quite contemporary in terms of the production but we get the proper JoJo ballads like the title track, about an all consuming total love affair, and the self-love anthem “I Am.” JoJo shines when she explores different R&B sounds especially with her captivating vocals and the delicate and airy production in “Honest.”

Mad Love. is the refresher pop music needs. It’s trendy, but without trying to hard. It has honest lyrics and fresh production with an R&B twist. Essentially it’s the album that JoJo truly wanted to make. The years away from the main stage has allowed her to perfect her artistry and voice and Mad Love. proves all of that.

Is this album too little or too late? I think not.

Rating: 8/10

Amber Mack is a 20-year-old from Atlanta, Georgia attending UWG (Go Wolves!), and is working to obtain a degree in Convergence Journalism with a minor in Creative Writing. She loves, poetry, books (preferably YA), music, and Netflix. When she's not attending classes, she writing poetry and/or songs while enjoying excessive binges of Gilmore Girls and Charmed. Some of her favorite things include: mashed potatoes, her cat Onyx, singing even though everyone is watching, making up random songs, and anything 90's to 2007. When she's not around people you'll find her dancing alone in her room. She has a brain full of random facts that are quite interesting. Right now, her obsession is Troye Sivan but that won't change anytime soon.