Release Date: April 8th, 2016
Label: Epoch Tapes
JoJo Worthington bookends her album ‘\\’ with songs that display the breadth of her capabilities. Although both the opener “Abraham” and the closer “Trinity, Father” can loosely be described as folk numbers, and although they both have religious overtones (lyrically), the musical approach is vastly different. “Trinity, Father” is frankly more her normal “bread and butter”; a light tune, featuring ukulele, flute and her childlike vocals. It is so whimsical that it’s like a magical walk in the woods. On the other end of the scale, “Abraham” is epic (in biblical proportions) and cinematic. The orchestral and synthesized instrumentation could easily overwhelm some singers, but Worthington holds her own, proving that her voice has power as well as prettiness.
The rest of the tracks lie at various points in between; none quite as portentous as “Abraham” and few (if any) as innocently feathery as “Trinity, Father”. Although she is a singer-songwriter at heart, Worthington throws in a couple of numbers without lyrics; the dreamy and atmospheric “Inverterate” and the quavering, more melodic “Sojourner”. Still, even on these tunes she manages to show off her vocal prowess, with some self-harmony and the odd studio effect. She also dabbles in a bit of jazz and classical at times (e.g. “Two Lines” and “Alien”) but she is probably most at home when she is using just her stark voice and her ukulele, as she does on the beautiful “Mid Life Crisis”. At moments like that she draws favourable comparison to the best female singers in the business, like Tori Amos and Martha Wainwright.
With every song being a perfect gem the only complaint is that the album isn’t long enough. With only eight tracks you are left begging for more. C’mon, JoJo, you clearly have the chops, so bring it!