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It's no secret that R&B songstress JoJo is used to doing things big, and her latest single is no exception. Last week, an unfinished version of the brand-new track "Other Chick" leaked, so she fired back by posting the song on her own website (and also on her label's official SoundCloud page) in its final form. It's the first single from her upcoming album, Jumping Trains.
It's easy to forget that JoJo was only 12 in 2003 when she was first signed to Blackground Records. A year later, she dropped her hit single "Leave (Get Out)," and, at 13, became the youngest solo artist to have a No. 1 single in America. In 2004, she was nominated for a Best New Artist VMA -- the youngest artist ever. But what's not hard to remember is her powerhouse vocal ability and wiser-than-her-years delivery.
It sounds like, with her move from East Coast to West Coast (Boston to L.A.) and her shift from her former label Blackground to Interscope, she's found an edgier, more electronic, more epic sound. This track has a decidedly different sound even than the songs she released on last year's mixtape "Can't Take That Away From Me." It starts off very minimally, with the analog blips and beeps you'd hear in a Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry or Ke$ha song. But as the verse inches towards the chorus, it grows into the huge, synth-heavy force that SORT of reminds me of Robyn's "Dancing On My Own" ("I'm in the corn-ah, watchin' you kiss hah, ohhhhhh" -- you know that part where you get chills? That's the one).
And that's when JoJo hits you in the face with this insane chorus that is one part Amerie's "One Thing" and maybe a little Solange "I Decided Pt 1" blended in. You expect JoJo to run up and down the scale in perfect form like only she (and about three other women) can. But what's unexpected are the huge Beyoncé-style synths and drums, plus the '70s-sounding "oo-AH oo-AHs" that are layered in the background that turn the song from negative to positive in a microsecond -- instantly transforming JoJo from wah-wah loser girlfriend to the empowered "other chick" who's suddenly had this moment of self-discovery. It's EPIC and BEAUTIFUL and is going to be blasting out of your radio this summer -- just you wait. And remember, Travis from Buzzworthy told you so.
+ Listen to JoJo's "The Other Chick."