Album artwork for good to know which sees JoJo turned to the side, covered in shadow whilst the background is covered in bright orange.

Track-By-Track Album Review: JoJo – good to know

This week saw JoJo drop her brilliant new album, good to know, which we haven’t been able to stop listening to. This is her official fourth studio album, and her first independent album to be released. The release of good to know follows up her single from the album, “Lonely Hearts“.

JoJo, real name Joanna Levesque, is best known for her hit singles in the 00’s with the likes of “Leave (Get Out)” and “Too Little Too Late”. She dropped two albums in her early years which charted globally, JoJo and The High Road. On top of that, she launched her acting career making her name known in the likes of Aquamarine and RV. Things then started to die down as her record label refused to release a third album, even though JoJo kept sending completed LPs their way, and so she released Mixtapes instead to get her music out into the world, with the likes of Can’t Take That Away From Me and Agápe. She also appeared in the film G.B.F. and guest-starred in House of Glam and Hawaii Five-0. After a lawsuit struggle to get out of her contract with the record label that wouldn’t release her third album – which she went into detail about in a candid interview with UPROXX, she was finally able to officially release music signing with Atlantic Records, which is where we got her tringle, which were “When Love Hurts“, “Say Love“, and “Save My Soul“, as well as two EPs, before starting her third era which saw her release the “F**k Apologies” featuring Wiz Khalifa, “Music.”, “FAB.” featuring Remy Ma, and her third album Mad Love. Away from Atlantic records and in response to her first two albums not being available on download and streaming sites, JoJo re-recorded those two albums and the singles “Disaster” and “Demonstrate” and made them available for us all to download and stream releasing on her own record label Clover Music in connection with Warner Bros. Records. JoJo has been gearing up for the release of her new album good to know, dropping new singles “Man” and “Lonely Hearts”, which follows up the previously released singles “Joanna” and “Sabotage”; and this new album shows to the world what we’ve been missing. We also managed to interview her about her upcoming fourth studio album, exclusively on CelebMix.

The album contains a total of nine tracks with the CD version containing intro and outro tracks titled “Bad Habits” and “Proud” respectively, which have been released on her official YouTube Channel. Check out our track by track album review below.

Bad Habits (Intro)

A short track starts the CD version of the good to know album and it opens with a haunting repetitive beat that makes us long for her vocals. It’s a great track to transcend into the album as it makes the listener aware of what they are getting themselves into. This album is JoJo at her finest, her independence away from a record label. This is music that she, herself, wanted you to hear, so you better come prepared because she certainly is.

So Bad

This is the first track on the album and JoJo is here to prove herself and make sure you listen to her whole album, throughout. Slow and steady, this starts off as a ballad and JoJo jumps in after a few seconds giving strength, attitude, and power. She’s here to make a stripped-back statement and we are here for it! The chorus turns the track upbeat with typical JoJo R&B vibes, for a while before it returns to the slow ballad-like pace. The lyrics talk about sex with JoJo possibly acting as the other woman. She’s seductive in the words of the song and her voice manages to convey that perfectly.

Pedialyte

For those of you who don’t know – which also included us prior to looking it up – “Pedialyte” is a brand of solution which helps prevent dehydration and replenishes electrolytes and nutrients in one’s body. So, even before listening to this song JoJo has already taught us all something new – well unless you already knew what Pedialyte was. The song is all about the morning after the night before – we’ve all been there and we totally can relate, it feels as if JoJo pulled inspiration from her drinking days, which she mentioned in her candid interview with UPROXX and we can only imagine what she was going through back then. It’s a gritty song, with talk-like verses as if she’s addressing us personally. Vocals relaxed but still on-point, and a truly unforgettably catchy chorus that we just know we’re going to have stuck in our heads for the rest of the day.

The ending of this track includes a hidden track, titled “Take Me” which seems like a snippet of an intro into the next song. It’s a builder of a track and excites you for the rest of the songs/ It feels like it was something they messed around within the studio as it feels raw and very real, at the same time – and that is what makes it special… We’re sad that it wasn’t a short one-minute interlude track all by itself, we could so imagine having that snippet on repeat.

Gold

Time for some extreme sultriness, JoJo gives us whispered vocals on this track, “Gold”. It has an old-school R&B vibe going on. It’s a typical album-track, one we couldn’t imagine becoming a single, yet one that stands out for all the right reasons. It’s a love track that we can’t help but admire as we know how amazing JoJo can be with her runs and her voice, yet she strips it all back and gives us a quieter sound to fully allow the rhythm and the vibe to flood into our body and our hearts. It’s this track that gives us chills and fills us with warmth.

Man

We can so see why this was chosen as the first single, “Man” is just the most-epic feel-good song on the album that helps the transition from her Mad Love era to the good to know era. We knew a new vibe was coming with this album when she dropped “Joanna” and “Sabotage”, but it was this single “Man” that truly laid it down for us. It’s beyond catchy with the lyrics, “love me like I love me, love me like I can”, being full-on addicting. We all know we need to love ourselves and who we are, but gosh did JoJo speak to us all when she sang those lyrics – they’re ones that will embed themselves in our heads and allow us to know our worth.

Find out more on what we thought of the song “Man” and the corresponding music video in our article.

Small Things

Wow! This has to be a single, with a narrative music video because this is deep! We all have emotions and as we grow older, we learn how to bottle them up, put them to the side, hide them under the carpet, and pretend that they’re not there; and, truly, it’s the little small things in life that can unleash those emotions, and JoJo full-on captures that in this song. Vulnerable, honest, and chilling, JoJo lets us in by describing how she shuts people out when it comes to how she’s feeling. This song, in itself, is a mood, and we are feeling it in every way.

Lonely Hearts

It must’ve been difficult to choose which song would follow “Small Things” but we think they nailed it with “Lonely Hearts” as it’s an honest portrayal of how she is feeling. It easily showcases JoJo’s versatility especially when we expect her to come out with incredible runs and beautiful vocals, and she does exactly that with calm precision that have a yearning quality to them. “Lonely Hearts” is undeniably powerful, and we’re glad it was chosen as the second single from the album.

Find out more about our thoughts on the song “Lonely Hearts” and its respective music video, here on CelebMix.

Think About You

This is classic R&B, “Think About You” sounds like it’s been taken from the ’00s and been refreshed, so much so that we swear we’ve heard it somewhere before. Cool, reflected, and chilled, JoJo brings some blue fire to this album with this track. This is some deep emotions that she’s laid out for the world to hear as she sings about someone she loved with all her heart and now can’t get over that person, no matter what. This is just one beautiful song, and we know what it’s like to not stop thinking about someone.

Comeback (feat. Tory Lanez & 30 Roc)

There are two different versions of this track, the one on the CD is pure JoJo, but the digital version features Tory Lanez and 30 Roc. This featured version is planned for the third single off the album, and JoJo has recently teased a snippet from the upcoming music video. It’s a very sexually charged track which sees JoJo sing about getting with someone she’s known for years and she wants all of it. It even references her recent acrobatic skills as she’s been learning athletic pole dancing, which she’s shared on social media – maybe we’ll see some of it in the music video. Tory Lanez adds a rap verse, starting off with a lyric from his song “The Take” before launching into more sexually charged lyrics – he adds flavour and depth, which switches this whole album up and makes this track a stand-out.

Don’t Talk Me Down

Last song on the digital version of the album, and so we expect it to be a wind-down anthem that makes us want to replay all the tracks again, and gosh were we right. Backed by a piano throughout, JoJo shows spirit, courage, and her vulnerable side with this awesome track “Don’t Talk Me Down”. It follows the relaxed vibe found throughout this album, whilst centring on her vocals in every way. The lyrics touch upon coming to the decision to leave a relationship but knowing that that person can influence her and make her change her decision and take this guy back. It’s one of those songs that show an internal battle at a crucial moment and it’s clever that it’s the last track because she talks us into replaying the whole album!

Proud (Outro)

Now, we have to admit that we’re disappointed that this song is only on the CD version. JoJo uses words from her mother (Diana Blagden) for this track, and it reminds us of the spirit of the song “Music.” from her Mad Love album. JoJo has grown up and matured and can see how much love and support her mother has given her throughout her career. Her mom is clearly so proud of her and the lyrics turn this track into a very personal song that sees JoJo sings to herself, telling herself to be confident and proud, to see how far she has come. This is a life-changing track, one that tells her fans to be proud of who they are. We’ve all been through tough times and made it out the other side, JoJo more than anyone else (if you don’t know the full story, listen to her talk about it in her UPROXX interview), and this song is something we all need to hear. “Proud (Outro)” is a self-confident track full of self-esteem and inspiration.

We truly believe that JoJo has the ability to sing absolutely anything and make it sound incredible to anyone who listens, but the good to know album is more than that, it’s her story, the music she wants to release, and has come from her heart. Strong, emotional, full of love and confidence, sexy, sultry, independent; there’s a whole host of words we can use to describe this album, but it’s simply just JoJo, being JoJo, and that’s what truly matters to us!

good to know is available to download and stream right now, via Warner Records. A physical version of the song has also been released and contains an intro, an incredible outro, and a solo version of “Comeback”, which we so need in our lives. Look out for her next single and music video release of “Comeback”, coming soon.

What do you make of JoJo’s new album good to know? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by Jonathan Currinn

27-year-old writer, blogger, author, and journalist. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015. I write under the name Critic Jonni, on my blog. I also write for Fuzzable. In the past, I have written for the Daily Star, Channillo, Outlet Magazine, SPECTRUMM, Fox & Squirrel PhotographyModern Magazine, and Electric Mode. Follow me on Twitter @CriticJonni. Buy me a virtual coffee as a thank you: https://ko-fi.com/jonathancurrinn