Should Have Been Bigger: JoJo’s Soaring “Say Love”

Mike Wass | July 27, 2020 1:13 pm
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I was going to write a post about JoJo’s “Too Little Too Late” turning 14 (?!), but I don’t want to line the pockets of Blackground Records. Rather, I decided to shine a light on another highlight from Ms. Levesque’s holy discography — the obscenely underrated “Say Love.” As you might remember, JoJo really made up for lost time after escaping the record deal from hell. Instead of bouncing back with one single, she dropped three. “When Love Hurts” was the focus track, which is peculiar because the other two songs were better.

“Say Love,” in particular, really stands out as one of the best power ballads of the 2010s. This is JoJo’s Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston moment, one that allows her to pull the vocal trigger and put the pretenders in their place. “Where I wanna be is far apart, from where we are,” the 29-year-old sings on the refrain. “And I thought I found the place where we could start, talk from the heart.” What’s on her mind exactly? Well, our heroine said “I love you” first and is still waiting for the gesture to be reciprocated.

“I hear you just say I’m perfect, say I’m pretty, say I’m worth it,” JoJo belts on the soaring chorus over Harmony Samuels’ soulful production, “But if you really care for me say love, I want you to say love.” It should be noted that time has been incredibly kind to “Say Love,” probably because it wasn’t trying to be cool or on-trend to begin with. Instead, this is a timeless addition to any playlist that offers sanctuary to big-lunged divas with hurt feelings. Revisit the video for “Say Love” below and stop sleeping on good to know.

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