JoJo: suicide solution
DOWNLOAD: Jo-Jo, "Beautiful Girls" (mp3)
With a new line-up of teen rap phenoms schoolhouse-rocking this summer — the Pack, Huey, Lil' Mama, Sean Kingston — it's a lousy time for an underage pop star to be hitless. So what's a girl to do? If you're Foxborough teen queen Jo-Jo and your sophomore album, The High Road, has already gone one-single-and-out, the answer is our favorite brand of novelty track: an answer song. Her reply to Kingston's smash hit "Beautiful Girls" — which flipped the Boomer national anthem, "Stand by Me," into an ode to suicidal tendencies — is unlike most other back-atcha tracks in that she doesn’t dispute the facts of the original; mostly, she just wants us to know that she is, indeed, the kinda girl who makes boys want to kill themselves. And she does it so sweetly that we’re hoping she decides to come back at Kingston's latest single, "Me Love," a bubbegum-dancehall rework of Zeppelin's "D'yer Mak'er."
Speaking of great remakes on the pop charts, that Gym Class Heroes/Fall Out Boy rework of Jermaine Stewart's "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off" has erased all our horrible memories of that terrible "Cupid's Chokehold" song (which will easily place as the most annoying song of 2007, and possibly of the 21st century to date). This is superstar material. Sure, flipping the theme of the song is in bad taste -- Jermaine died in 1997 of liver cancer after a long bout with AIDS -- but hell, the whole thing's in horrible taste. Scheming, macking, goofing, and sliding around like a combination of Will Smith and Justin Timberlake, Travis McCoy projects the kind of safe-but-naughty sexuality that makes 15-year-old girls SMS their panties off: