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  • Cy White

JoJo: trying not to think about it

JoJo brings something deeper, more emotionally heady than last year's Good to Know with trying not to think about it. The soul and majesty of her vocals is truly on display here. Understand that this woman has an almost unmatched ability to bring both raw soul from the gut and searing tenderness from the soul. She's uncurled some of the hesitancy to aim for something truly artistically vulnerable. From cover to last song, we see her bloom. A woman curled upon herself trying to guard her heart and her belly from sharp daggers to a woman brazen, vocal, honest and raw in her hurt, triumph, anger, joy.

JoJo is an absolute blessing. trying not to think about it paints that trust in inky blues and searing golds. This album is the inner workings of a woman who has worn the badge of a prodigy with heaviness since childhood and is allowing us to really get close to her in a way that she's been hiding. Possibly stopping her from thinking about the implications of her artistic brilliance.

Opening on a fairy tale (a land of "rainbows and butterflies") is a brilliant choice. She's trying so hard not think on the pain that she's created a "World of Sunshine" to ignore the rabid thoughts threating to corrupt her, as the music corrupts at the intro's ending, transitioning into "Anxiety (Burlinda's Theme)."

The marked difference between trying... and Good to Know is how the music comes into play. Whereas last year's album relied so heavily on trends and tropes that they drowned the brilliance of JoJo's performance and songwriting skills, this time around the music works with JoJo. Music that's subtle, but not muted. It nestles and embraces JoJo's presence. A symbiote instead of a parasite draining the energy from a woman whose music leaves room to breathe and express herself.

trying not to think about it is an album purely about connections Even as the cover and album title suggest she's shrinking away from touch, this is an incredibly tactile album. Textured so the ear can feel the depths of her pain, contemplation and revelations. A physical album, it doesn't try too hard to force the listener in. It simply opens its arms and asks that you be gentle with its purveyor.

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