The Song From JoJo's 'Mad Love' Album That Every Woman Needs To Hear Is "Clovers."
In 2004, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing JoJo's debut single "Leave (Get Out)." Aged just 13 and with a phenomenally strong voice, the singer felt like a promising pop prodigy. Just over a decade later, and with the release of JoJo's third album, Mad Love, it's refreshing to hear how the musician has evolved — not just musically but also as a woman intent on unapologetically living her truth. Mad Love is missing the preppy, naivety that characterized the catchy pop of "Leave (Get Out)," but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The album is simply a far more assured and authentic version of pop than what JoJo was creating as a young teenager. And, when it comes to understanding and appreciating the album, there's one song off JoJo's Mad Love that you need to hear — like, right now.
But, first, some context. In a recent bold and baring interview with Entertainment Tonight, JoJo explained the struggles that she's faced in the past decade. As well as suffering a long legal battle with her former record label, JoJo also struggled with depression, alcohol use, and body image issues:
I've had many low points, honestly... I thought, 'How can I come back from this, you know, too much time has passed.' I was depressed, I was drinking a lot because I wanted to get out of my mind. I'm being totally honest. ...I just wanted to feel good and get out of my mind and that was obviously trying to fill a hole that I had.
As a result, Mad Love sounds very much like an album of victory, of achieving personal autonomy, acceptance and ultimately, closure of bad relationships, decisions, attitudes, and entire periods of life. And it's the song "Clovers." that really highlights all of these themes so succinctly.
Musically, the song has a slight Ellie Goulding feel to it, but with a more bold, and clear, vocal style. Emphatic and featuring a powerful delivery, "Clovers." takes the form of a melancholic ballad that has been ultimately dominated by an overriding, if slightly fractured, melody that comes off as sounding hopeful and determined.
Lyrically, "Clovers." also perfectly matches the music, with JoJo appearing to be expressing the personal struggle that she experienced with her depression, along with her determination to stay positive, and to get better:
Went a little crazy yesterdayEverybody saw, but it's okaySwimming in a river of my feelsLooking in the mirror, like what's the dealNow, now, no matter what the doctor's offered meGonna shake that dark cloud off of me
Interestingly, "Clovers." also appears to be a song expressing JoJo's frustration during "all of the lost time" within which she was unable to release her own music.
This experience also appears to be expressed as though it was a trigger or an aggravator for the depression that JoJo ultimately found herself in:
What makes me madAll of the lost timeOnly left here to realizeWhat makes me madCan't open up my eyes
In the song's chorus, JoJo then talks about visualizing being "in a field of Clovers" and "running forward back to life" as a form of therapy and self-care, with the bridge and outro elaborating on these ideas even further with a set of lines that serve as something of a powerful, battle mantra:
Sitting, pretty, steady, picking cloversFinally I feel I'm getting closureSitting, pretty, steady, picking cloversFinally I feel I'm getting closure
And Mad Love definitely sounds like an album that was born from the ashes of this experience. Not only is it full of the sort of resilient confidence and maturity that an individual can gain from the pain of a dark period, but it's also full of closure.
There's the fact that every song title on Mad Love is, quite unusually, punctuated with a period (the ultimate grammatical closure) as well as the song themselves that celebrate various kinds of freedom (romantic, personal, professional and bodily). JoJo's new album is full of the joys of transformation.
And "Clovers." is the ultimate embodiment of that idea. Of biding your time and maintaining your patience just long enough that you can finally break free of a heavy cocoon and metamorphose into the person you were always supposed to be.
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