Single Review

JoJo: Disaster (Single Review)

After almost five straight years of setbacks and delays due to label fuckery, management reshuffling and everything else in between, the grand return of JoJo has officially begun.

“Disaster” is the official lead single from the singer’s upcoming third studio album Jumping Trains, due out later this year on Interscope Records.

While the brilliant Can’t Take That Away From Me–a free 11-track mixtape JoJo released in 2010–found the young singer exploring new terrain within chilly electronica grooves and soulful, church-ready slow jams, “Disaster” brings listeners back to the signature pop-rock sound that first propelled the Massachusetts-born pop starlet into the spotlight well over seven years ago.

And for those of you who fell hard from her very first scathing kiss-off track, “Leave (Get Out),” you’re in luck: JoJo’s still pissed.

“‘Cause the walls burned up and our love fell down / And it turned into whatever, now we’re saying never,” JoJo angrily cries out on top of the song’s massive chorus. The crashing drums, dramatic strings and triumphantly marching mega-beat all invoke some of the greatest, most devastating pop-rock mid-tempo ballads in recent memory, including Jordin Sparks‘ “Battlefield” and yes, even a bit of her own 2006 smash, “Too Little, Too Late.”

But apart from a return to the power pop production of her past hits, “Disaster” signals JoJo’s growth as both a vocalist and an individual: Proof lies no further than the song’s snarling, teeth-gritting bridge, which bites harder and burns deeper than just about anything she’s released to date. (“You shot the bullet, you shot the bullet that killed me!”)

It’s clear that the 20-year-old songstress has done a whole lot of growing up over the past few years in her absence. And with such an amazing track in tow, it’s the perfect time for this incredibly talented singer/songwriter to reclaim her spot on the radio waves and show us what she’s got once again.

Welcome back, JoJo. You’ve been sorely missed.

“Disaster” will be released on September 6. (iTunes)