In a Fergalicious world, it's good to know JoJo will always be around to save us. She's a multilateral threat, a child actress turned millennial-gen terror who now both sings and acts. She conducts interviews with the unflappable aplomb of Tony Snow; she even tries to rap sometimes. "Too Little Too Late," her current Hot 100 single, is an unabashed rewrite of "Leave [Get Out]," her 2004 debut, its principal guitar melody simply a slowed-down version of the other's chattering centerpiece. But the melody is undeniable, especially when the chorus drops over prefabricated violin swells your hand flutters right along with JoJo's as she tracks the emotional battlefield of 11th grade in first-person, dismissing her lazy-ass suitor in a series of Mariah trills that lend life-and-death drama to phrases like "You don't like me/You just like the chase" and the classic "boy it don't feel right," a favorite of girl power jams from the Girl Group era through to Monica, Brandy and now JoJo, our heroine in a pop world clogged with Fergie-fergs and talent-starved scions of professional wrestlers. High Road, her sophomore album, is a snooze. But as pop singles go in 2006, "Too Little Too Late" is a triumph.
Johnny Loftus is the music editor of Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].