Once JoJo gets past the parade of hip producers that try to make her sound like Janet Jackson, Beyonce, or Cassie, she gets to focus on her top-notch singing. That is when this album shines. JoJo is one of today's top teen pop stars, and a number of songs here help explain why.
The Girl Can Sing
The High Road provides abundant evidence that JoJo is no slouch when it comes to singing. She provides just enough control to keep the sentiments of her smash hit "Too Little Too Late" from going overboard and, by the end of the song, proves high notes are well within her range. The beautiful Diane Warren penned ballad "Exceptional" provides an opportunity to shine in a simple setting.
No Need to Follow Fads
Although superstar producers such as Scott Storch, Swiss Beatz, and Ryan Leslie are brought in to boost the name power of this set, there was no need to follow the latest fads in pop music. It is on the songs that are closest to simple, straightforward teen pop that this album rises above the ordinary. "Anything" uses an instrumental hook and vocal sample from Toto's 80's classic "Africa" to weave a tasty pop confection. Veteran songwriter Billy Steinberg ("Like a Virgin," "True Colors," "Eternal Flame") and producer Josh Alexander help JoJo deliver a near perfect piece of teen pop on "How to Touch a Girl."
Top Tracks on 'The High Road'
- Too Little Too Late
- Good Ol'
- How to Touch a Girl
JoJo Shows Teen Pop Is Alive and Well
In case anyone worried that classic teen pop was being buried by an onslaught of hip hop, pop punk, and r&b, one listen to The High Road should ease your concerns. In today's pop market it seems that major record labels insist on a parade of hot, name producers to sell an album. Those names are present here, but, ultimately, as indicated by the success of "Too Little Too Late," it is the songs and JoJo's voice that sell the best of The High Road.