3.5MB Pop Shots

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].

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