JoJo's later career has come to be defined by a seven-year battle with her label which all but halted her momentum—in 2004, she was then the youngest singer to ever top the Hot 100—and kept her from releasing a proper album for a decade. In 2017, she created her own imprint, Clover Music, and good to me marks the first full-length of this brave new chapter, as much a rebirth as a reintroduction.
The singer's maturation, even from her 2016 release Mad Love., is evident, but she carries it without a hint of reticence. When she sings of the nuances of heartache—trying to move on, establishing boundaries—sincerity penetrates her every lyric. “For the first time, I finally believe we're done,” she belts at the peak of the piano-driven closer, “Don't Talk Me Down,” wounded grit bleeding into her tone. Throughout the album, she also expands to showcase a bit of her range in both subject and sound: “Pedialyte” is an anthemic ode to partying and forgotten nights, while “Small Things” is a graceful acoustic ballad about pretending to be okay that doubles as a flooring display of her vocal prowess. Elsewhere, the sexy slow jams “So Bad” and “Comeback” are executed with aplomb. No matter the subject matter, JoJo overarchingly sounds like a woman liberated, finally ready to find her voice anew.