On December 20th, JoJo gave herself the best possible 28th birthday present: a reclaimed narrative. That day, the pop singer reissued 2004’s JoJo and 2006’s The High Road — the early albums that made her a teenage superstar, before she plunged into what she has previously described as a “personal hell” of label woes.
For more than a decade, those albums have been kept off streaming services as she’s fought her former label. Now, in order to reissue them independently, JoJo rerecorded both JoJo and The High Road. While she reworked some songs, a big breakthrough hit like “Leave (Get Out)” remains mostly untouched except for her more adult voice carrying the song to the present. It’s deeper and more soulful without losing the charm and early-millennium bubblegum tinges that made it resonate with the TRL viewers of that time. As an added bonus, the song has aged well: It bears the same clarity and resilience after heartbreak that recently made Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” such an anthem.