Description Kid talent show discovery JoJo's self-titled Blackground Records, Da Family-affiliated debut is a slick set of modern R&B in the vein of Brandy or Monica, with plenty of room to introduce its star's bigger-than-you'd-think presence. A bank of producers -- Vincent Herbert, Soulshock, Bink -- provide backgrounds that bump decidedly in the midrange -- there's a conscious effort to keep the focus on JoJo, and not whatever beats are currently making the grade. In other words, her vocals never sound detached from the goings-on behind her, or just a voice chattering over R&B generica. And this is promising, as the young singer really does have a tremendous voice. "Breezy" and "Homeboy" multi-track her trills, sulky whispers, and brassy wails over clicky percussion and a mixture of loops and instrumental snippets. Throughout there's talk of sheezies, throwbacks in the mix, cell phones, and the boy next door jilting poor JoJo. But even if the lyrics throughout are pretty interchangeable, vocally there's no doubt in her ability to carry the album, and the lack of irritating skits or attention-hogging guest shots is pretty refreshing. The funky jook of the Reggie and Ronald Burrell production "City Lights" features a few random "JoJo do that thing" drop-ins, but the girl gets right to the bottom of that freaky Beyoncé id, and aligns the cut with fellow standout "Not That Kinda Girl." Lead single "Leave (Get Out)" doesn't have a lot of staying power, but its guitar figure is a nice touch, and the chorus hits with the right amount of tell-off brashness. There's also a serviceable update of the 1992 SWV hit "Weak," the stripped-down strut of "Yes or No" (is that real beat boxing?), and the requisite ballad in "Never Say Goodbye." All in all, JoJo is a strong debut. Its centerpiece is never smothered with collabo pile-ons, and she's served well by the mix of arrangements and backgrounds. She's definitely courting middle-lane accessibility, but she rightly lets her singing do the talking, and that's a signal of where she's headed. © Johnny Loftus /TiVo _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Artist: JoJo Album: JoJo Year: 22 June 2004 Genre: R&B Quality: Flac CD 16bits/44.1kHz Label: Released by Blackground Records, LLC Source: Qobuz Size: 376mb Tracklist 01 Breezy 02 Baby It's You 03 Not That Kinda Girl 04 The Happy Song 05 Homeboy 06 City Lights 07 Leave (Get Out) 08 Use My Shoulder 09 Never Say Goodbye 10 Weak 11 Keep On Keepin' On 12 Sunshine 13 Yes Or No 14 Fairy Tales Credits Main artist: JoJo Composer: Various Composers Performers: Balewa Muhammad, ComposerLyricist - Sylvester Jordan Jr., ComposerLyricist - Kwamé Holland, ComposerLyricist - Roland Chambers, ComposerLyricist - Kenny Gamble, ComposerLyricist - THOM BELL, ComposerLyricist - Kwame, Producer - Jojo, MainArtist Label: Blackground Records, LLC Genre: R&B 2004 Blackground Records, LLC 2004 Blackground Records, LLC Total Runtime: 52m 17s Download Link: Hidden Content: You must reply before you can see the hidden data contained here.