What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the soulful singer belting out these R&B tunes is only 13 years old. JoJo is incredibly talented, and her success at such a young age may inspire your kids to keep working on their own skills and talents (remind them that JoJo worked very hard and probably didn't blow off her vocal lessons when she would've preferred to go to the mall).
What's the story?
JoJo's appearance on \"America's Most Talented Kids\" put the young singer on the map -- and now she's all over the airwaves and MTV. Although JoJo sings about friendship (\"Use My Shoulder\"), triumphing over adversity (\"Keep On Keepin' On\"), and female empowerment (\"Not That Kinda Girl\"), her main focus is love and relationships, which seems strange given that she was only 13 when she recorded the songs. Of course, it's age-appropriate for young teens to be interested in matters of the heart, and many kids will find comfort in singing along to \"Leave (Get Out)\" after experiencing heartache. Know that while some of the lyrics are definitely melodramatic (\"Hope you know that when it's late at night/I hold on to my pillow tight/And think of how you promised me forever\"), at least there's nothing explicitly sexual to worry about.
Is it any good?
JoJo is an unbelievably skilled singer (she performs the type of vocal gymnastics that made Christina Aguilera famous) and a strong songwriter for one so young (she penned the tracks "Keep On Keepin' On", "Yes or No", and "Sunshine"). At only 13, she sounds like an established R&B artist -- you might expect that the knowing tone and emotional singing on this album came from a seasoned soul singer like Mary G. Blige, not from someone who just finished junior high.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the fact that although JoJo encourages girls to be themselves and not change for anyone, she also spends a lot of energy focusing on relationships and being in love. You might point out to your kids that being half of a couple isn't everything, and that happiness comes from within -- not from another person.