Music Review: Nick Jonas

It’s a story that we’ve all heard before: a teenage boy-band reaches the peak of its career… only to fade away when one (or more) of the members decide to leave the group to pursue solo careers (like what happened to Emblem3 earlier this year). It happened to some of the greatest bands: *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Restless Road, even the Jonas Brothers.

The JoBros announced their split in October 2013 after seven years in the music biz, and newer bands (such as One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer) took their place. Fast forward to November 2014, the brothers have experienced some incredible highs in their careers and personal lives. Joe is starring in the upcoming movie “The Highway Is For Gamblers“; Kevin became a dad earlier this year; and Nick has signed a deal with Island Records, released new music (in which he earned a Parental Advisory sticker for that!), and is starring as one of the lead characters in DirecTV’s newest original show, Kingdom.

Like so many other former-Disney stars before, he’s finally making the transition from teen boy-band member to adult solo artist— and , which was released this past Monday, November 10th, proves that point.

The album opens up with lead single Chains, a track that didn’t really get much media attention when it was first released this summer. It deals with some more mature themes (I heard from various sources that this song might be included in the 50 Shades of Grey movie-soundtrack!), and doesn’t sound a thing like “Lovebug,” or even “Who I Am.” When I first heard this song, I listened to the first 30 seconds and thought, is that really Nick Jonas? Wow.

Track two, the OFFICIAL lead single from the album. The song we’ve been hearing Nick perform live at many different awards shows, concerts, etc… can you guess what it’s called? Jealous sounds a lot like something that Drake or Miguel would sing.  It’s the only song from this album– so far– that has made it onto the radio. It seems like every single Top 40 radio station is playing this song, just like I predicted when I reviewed the song a couple months ago. Which reminds me…

I don’t want to deviate from the topic, but last month, I posted something on Twitter about “Jealous” being #1 on all the radio stations where I live, and this happened

nick jonas favorited my tweet about "jealous"  (Yes, Nick Jonas favorited my tweet about “Jealous” being #1. Best day ever)

MOVING ON… other highlights of the album include Warning,” Wilderness, Numb (featuring up-and-coming hip-hop artist, Angel Haze), and I Want You (which sounds a lot like one of Colton Dixon’s songs, “More of You“). Take Over is another song that I love from the album. It sounds like something Pharrell Williams would sing, while at the same time, sounding vaguely similar to “Pom Poms” (one of the JoBros’ last official songs they released as a band).

Unfortunately, like any album, there are songs that I’m not a fan of. There were only two that I wasn’t a huge fan of, Teacher and Push. I have no idea why I don’t like “Teacher;” maybe it will be one of the songs that I’ll start to like eventually. Right now, I’m just not a huge fan of it. Apparently, it’s going to be the third single from the album, so we’re probably going to hear this song on the radio a lot.

Push” is another good song, with incredible lyrics… but it’s just really slow. I guess I was confusing it with the Jonas Brothers’ 2008 song, “Pushing Me Away,” but I expected it to be a bit faster. I like the meaning behind the song (it’s one of the most personal songs Nick has ever written for this album), but it’s just too slow. It’s kind of like Ariana Grande’s song, “Almost Is Never Enough,” in a way. (But I liked that song after a few months, so maybe “Push” will become one of my favorites within a certain amount of time, too)

The album closes off with two incredible songs. Avalanche (featuring DEMI LOVATO), is one of the greatest songs I’ve heard this year. The lyrics are meaningful, the production is great, and the vocals from both Nick and Demi are incredible! Every time I listen to this song, I think, I am so grateful that I saw Demi in concert. And the time will come when I get the chance to see Nick perform live, too. Maybe they’ll perform this song together at a concert. In other words, this is one of the best songs from the album. It’s PERFECT.

The last track on the standard edition of the album (I didn’t get the chance to listen to the Deluxe Edition bonus tracks), is called Nothing Would Be Better.It’s one of the only songs that has a title that’s more than one word. In fact, it has FOUR words! But all that aside, “Nothing Would Be Better” is a super personal song, with really sweet/inspirational lyrics. Nothing is forever, nothing would be better/Than the love you’re giving me/I just gotta have you, wish you didn’t have to win/You’re gonna set me free… With that intro, you can tell it’s a really personal song. In an interview, Nick said that he wrote this song about his family– and that implicit message becomes obvious when he sings, Cause I used to live in fear, it was my home/But there are harder things to be than all alone/You’re the broken part of me that makes me whole/But so unsure… It’s an incredible song, and perfect to conclude the album!

Overall, I think Nick Jonas’ latest album is incredible. All the songs are great (some of them are simply INCREDIBLE), and I think I like this album more than I like “Who I Am,” or any of the Jonas Brothers albums/songs from 2006-2013. I never realized how talented Nick is, until I listened to his album when it was first released. And I have one last thing to say.

This is only the beginning.

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Nick Jonas

Studio Album by: Nick Jonas
Release Date: November 10th 2014
Recorded: 2013-14
Genre: Pop / R&B
Produced by: Nick Jonas
John Feldman
Jason Evigan
Record Label: Island Records / Safehouse Records

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