JoJo Worthington | 7
This record is an incredible follow up for singer/songwriter JoJo Worthington. When I sat down to listen to 7 I had already heard most of the music performed live by JoJo but it did not prepare me for the incredible production value and song arrangements that this recording features. JoJo is a songwriter you listen to and realize she has a certain genius to the way she approaches the melody and lyric components of her songs. I was tempted to skip track 1 and jump right into the good stuff but I'm so happy with the way this record plays through front to back. If you have an evening free to sit and listen through the entire record instead of picking out the singles (Hearts, Amadeus, and Werewolf) I would highly recommend it. Even the lyrical content of the songs doesn't get old - it's unique and doesn't read like every other pop song available. I have given the record an overall rating of 9 because it really is one of my favorite albums and the production, playing, and lyrics deserver nothing less.
Song Writing: 8
Favorite Song: Roots
By track 2 (Werewolf) I was in love with the sound of 7. 7 was engineered by Brandon Pero and recorded at Overload Studios & Inception Sound Studios. I can't give enough credit to Brandon Pero and JoJo for producing a great sounding record. Future mix engineers should take notes while listening to Werewolf - even I was jealous of the well defined drum and bass mix Brandon was able to attain. The drums are open and the snare sounds really good. Every track JoJo's voice is clear and really well supported. I think Pero makes complicated mixes sound easy. My favorite track on the record is Roots which may have been more complicated to arrange - but I think the mix is brilliant. Instruments are well spaced and placement is well defined. The trumpet hook is pushed to the back (but not too far) and the vocals sit perfectly on top. The most impressive part production-wise is how consistant the mixes are. I think we can thank Chad Irschick at Inception Sound Studios who mastered 7 for this. The sound is consistant and the tracks sound like they were meant to be played together. I gave this recording an 8 for production because of how great everything sounds. The mixes have life to them which is more than I can say for most commercial recordings these days.
I am not sure how to best describe Worthington's writing style except by the word refreshing. The lyrical content is so diverse - ranging from relationship songs about Amadeus to songs based on the book To Kill a Mocking Bird. These songs are so well assembled lyrically and instrumentally. The full band arrangements are fantastic - especially after hearing much of the music live and solo for so long. I have to say JoJo Worthington knows how to write a folk song and she proves it with every track on the album. 7 receives an 8 for writing because I feel that it sets the bar for what new songwriters in the folk genre should be doing.
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