JoJo “We Get By”

JoJo‘s long-in-the-making third album may continue to frustratingly not have a release date, but we can at least be thankful that the former teen pop princess-turned-Internet sensation seems to be making it a priority to keep firm grasp of the career resuscitating momentum of Web hits, following up her amazing 2011 remix of Drake’s “Marvin’s Room” (arguably the best of the seemingly hundreds of covers/ remixes that record spawned) and this year’s sultry, Noah “40” Shebib-helmed “Demonstrate” (an equally stunning soul-pop diva slant on the hit producer’s inescapable nu-Quiet Storm sound) with the arrival of a new mixtape, Agápē, in December.

For the set’s first taste “We Get By”, JoJo churns on with pushing her old TRL-era precociousness deeper into the rear view as her buttery-smoove vocal tone hypes a diet of cranberry Stoli and the best “Cali green”, the ideal combination in helping her get through a torturous pathway into her next life phase that finds her ruminating on her “deepest fears” and wondering to herself “When I leave this place will anybody really miss me/ If I stay on this train all night can I end at the beginning?”.

Not such brow-arching lyrics nor JoJo’s cool vocal stamp end up being the highlight of “We Get By” though; no, that honor would fall on the laidback groove cooked up by producers-to-watch The Backpack Kids, a “genreless” construct of jazzy 90’s-era boom bap and swirly neo-soul elements that gives a deeper meaning to Jo’s casual “We get high” hook and helps further perch the singer amid the crowd of refreshing artists taking modern-day R&B to new creative heights.