We all know and remember Nick Jonas as the heartthrob and youngest member of brother-boy band the Jonas Brothers, the trio that rocked the late 2000s and stole the hearts of millions of teenage girls. Now, after their music and presence faded out of the picture, Nick Jonas is back at it again and has completely ditched his pop rock persona. Having converted to today’s mainstream styles of hip-hop and pop, Jonas debuts his efforts and experiments with musical styles with his self-titled album.
It’s easy to tell that creating these popular sounds is new to Jonas. He has no problem filling every minute with funky rhythms and groovy melodies, but the key to making them successful is the catch. Jonas sometimes lacks this hook. “I Want You” has the expectancy of something great but the rhythm isn’t consistent enough to have a memorable hook. However, the mainstream potential is slightly there.
Nick Jonas is clearly a talented vocalist, but on this album, it seems that his effort to conform is a little too much. The repetition on these tracks can get irritating rather than exciting and when he excessively uses his falsetto vocals, they take away from the power that songs like “Push” can have. “Teacher” is a super seductive and funky track that’s perfect for playing at a club. What keeps it from being a musical success, however, are elements here and there that throw off its seriousness. The “Oh my, oh my, oh my God” lyrical components paired with the odd synth beats are almost laughable.
Nevertheless, Jonas has his moments. It’s clear to see that his setbacks on this album are for him to grow from, while the highlights are what he needs to maintain. It’s never a bad thing to musically explore as an artist, and once Jonas strikes gold, he puts all he has into it. “Jealous” is one of these songs, and you can tell by its popularity. He takes this style that he wants to thrive in and supplements it with fluidity, catchiness, and fun. Although the cliché lyrics of pursuing a girl aren’t a standout factor, the melody is spot on (which is really all you need to have a radio hit these days). Jonas even surprises old Jonas Brothers fans with a nostalgic pop rock sound in “Wilderness”. This is really the only time Jonas presents this groovy and distinct style, which is a shame. Going back to his pop rock roots of his brother band and previous solo work Nick Jonas and the Administration, he comes up with one of the strongest tracks on the album.
Jonas can also achieve strong mainstream quality with a little help of some more experienced artists in the genre. “Numb” is a solid hip-hop track that is full of danceable beats and is enhanced by Angel Haze’s girl-powered rap. Even “Avalanche” is a throwback ballad for old JB fans because of Demi Lovato’s incredible voice. It’s great to see how Lovato is using her prospering career to help out her old friends. Remember when it used to be the other way around?
Nick Jonas’s debut self-titled album is his eager attempt to break away from his previous reputation. The reign of the Jonas Brothers was, by no means, a bad thing, but Jonas is no longer the little brother in a band and will do whatever he can to prove it. This reach towards pop likeability in comparison to his old work show how drastically pop music has changed in only a few years. Nick Jonas has had his ups and downs adapting, but certainly has his head in the game.