After facing battles with her record label, R&B princess JoJo, Joanna Noelle Levesque, is back with her fourth studio album good to know (stylized in all lowercase). Many know and love her for her 2004 hit “Leave (Get Out),” which she recorded at 13 years old. Although “Leave (Get Out)” and “Too Little Too Late” will remain her top singles until the end of time, JoJo has shown with her latest album she has matured and is in control of her sound.
JoJo has been spoiling her fans with her new music; she has three different versions for the album. The standard edition, released May 1, features nine songs. On July 10, she dropped an acoustic version of the nine track album, along with a steamy, yet sweet, video for “Think About You.” After releasing “What U Need,” teasing fans with what’s to come in her deluxe album, JoJo did not disappoint when good to know (Deluxe) was finally released August 28.
The deluxe version of the album opens with “Bad Habits,” a strong introduction with the lyrics “‘Cause the mirror won’t lie to me no more / And I can’t hide from me no more” in that it establishes the main point of the album: she has grown up and is ready to face her truth.
The album continues with songs from the standard edition. After the majority of up-tempo beats, the album transitions into soft, slow songs. Active followers of JoJo’s music, about 1.9 million on Instagram, recognized that the melody in “Small Things” was teased at the end of the music video for “Sabotage,” released back in 2019.
Unique to the deluxe album, JoJo included Demi Lovato on the song “Lonely Hearts,” creating a version of the song that listeners won’t be prepared for. The two vocally powerful artists joined together to create beautiful harmonies that only strengthened the popular song. With that addition in mind, JoJo also graced listeners with her version of “Comeback,” an X-rated, sexy song, sans Tory Lanez. The version featuring Tory Lanez was popular on the standard edition of the album. However, the version without him is better. Her breathy lyrics add to the sexiness of the song and reinforce her being in touch with her femininity, so much so that she is confident in what she wants.
The rest of the album includes new songs unique to the deluxe version. “Kiss” takes us back to her early 2000s melodies and rhythms. Her collaboration with Tinashe on “Love Reggae” gives listeners of late 90s/ early 2000s R&B vibes with their explosive harmonies: a nice refresher to contrast the style of the album. “X (1 Thing Wrong)” was JoJo’s experimental song in that the slow-downed, sultry beat was unexpected, compared to the overall style of the album. Her breathy, drawn out ballads accompanied the song perfectly, emphasizing her confidence in that the one thing her ex did wrong was give her up. The deluxe album concludes with “In Your Room,” a great outro in that the fast-paced beat leaves a positive, carefree feeling. The song reinforces that after the adversity she has faced, JoJo is carefree and in control of, not only her music, but her life.
Fan favorites include the promotional song, “What U Need,” loved for its commanding, confident lyrics— “He say I got a goddess complex / But it’s facts, no flex”— and “Don’t Talk Me Down,” found on the standard album. The song is about her being able to decide what is best for herself, fueled by her full-throated, powerful voice accompanied with the beautiful chords of a piano.
All versions of good to know are beautifully crafted, but the deluxe version emphasizes JoJo’s rebirth as an artist who is confident and comfortable with her voice. The theme of maturing is evident throughout the album and without a hint of regret. As a reintroduction, the album is for all ready to be liberated and start anew.
Iana Fields is a sophomore studying English creative writing at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Iana? Tweet her @FieldsIana.