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The High Road
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that JoJo's innuendo is a little more sensual and sophisticated than last time around. The spicier lyrics can be found on "The Way You Do Me." JoJo sings, "Boy the way you do me, the way you do me/why you gotta be so good when you give it to me?" Other songs are subtler. The artist, now a ripe-old 15, is coming into her own with a pleasant pop album and maturing vocal style.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
JoJo's impressive vocal performances on THE HIGH ROAD bounce along over pleasant, hook-filled, synthesizer-heavy instrumental tracks. Lyrics rarely leave the love arena. Most deal with the ups and downs of relationships from ambivalence and instructional flirtation (\"How to Touch a Girl\") to heartbreak and I'm-not-making-the-same-mistake-again anthems, as on \"Too Little, Too Late\" (\"You say you dream of my face/but you don't like me, you just like the chase…It doesn't matter anyway/you know it's just too little too late\"). Innuendo is just a bit sexier than her last CD: \"Boy the way you do me, the way you do me/why you gotta be so good when you give it to me?\" is typical, on \"The Way You Do Me,\" an infectiously danceable confection. Gospel-tinged background vocals and a couple of nicely performed ballads add a pinch of soul.
Is it any good?
Most 15-year-olds are unable to communicate the complexities of romance with JoJo's degree of worldly sophistication -- but most 15-year olds don't have arsenals of professional songwriters and producers at their disposal. This might be worth remembering if JoJo's lyrics don't quite live in the world of the real teens in your household. Nestled among all the love stuff is the occasional "you can do it" empowerment. "You're exceptional the way you are -- don't need to change for nobody," sung over and over again on "Exceptional," may not be the most brilliant lyricism in the world -- but it is something most tweens need to hear way more often than they do.