Joanna “JoJo” Levesque is at that most critical part of her career: getting to a stage where “Leave (Get Out)” is never mentioned in reviews like this. So far, her strategy consists mainly of acting as teenly adult as she can: sex in “The Other Chick,” prescription and other drugs in “Marvin’s Room,” all blatant enough to be mentioned but innocuous enough that nobody’s really worried about her like they are for certain other Drake beneficiaries.
Next up is single “Disaster,” properly hyped and, as you’ll notice, rather familiar-sounding. Listen below:
Now we know who JoJo’s really trying to emulate: Jordin Sparks. It’s a better career model than you might think; both are fleeing clean tween images, and both skew R&B without having to insist that they do. (Joe Jonas, that’d be you.) And “Disaster” is a dead ringer for “Battlefield.” The drums are huge, the guitars carve out caverns in the background, and JoJo roars through it all. We hear a bit of “Whatcha Say” in here as well, albeit without the Imogen Heap sample and without anything that made the track annoying.
Question is, though, will it work for JoJo? “Battlefield” certainly did well on radio, although between Jordin and Ryan Tedder, the name recognition/support levels were probably higher. We’d have to cede the edge to JoJo, though–on the bridge in particular, she shows more vocal dexterity than many peers and/or elders. And mediocre “changing, rearranging” and “I don’t think I can take any more” lyrics aside, JoJo’s not ripping off Pat Benatar’s conceit. Disaster averted!