Needless to say, Nick Jonas knows a few things about music. Between growing up in a musically-inclined family and starting the fangirl-driven pop rock band the Jonas Brothers, it’s no surprise that the launch of his solo career holds the essence of these pop sounds in the making.
With the right amount of production and plenty of variety in falsetto comes Nick Jonas’s first solo album, a pretty crisp and clean pop and R&B record.
The album opens up with the track “Chains,” a clearly hyper-edited and refined set of beats balanced with just the right amount of edge. As the chorus begins, a choir of dark instrumentals accompanies Jonas’ crooning.
The song essentially sets the tone for what the rest of the album is going to be — set of tracks that can stand on their own as singles.
“Jealous” follows as the catchy song that’s begging for airplay all over KIIS-FM and it’s insanely difficult to not hum the chorus as you’re listening to it. It’s obviously been remixed by rapper Tinashe, no surprise there.
The itch to toe tap continues with “Teacher” and “Wilderness” — tracks that are clearly the work of producer Jason Evigan, whose resume includes the music of Maroon 5, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato.
Jonas’ vocals vary and each track stands alone as one made for radio; they’re simply unique and memorable and crisp where the beat breaks and how the chorus draws listeners in.
The track “Numb” delves into a little more edge and R&B, complete with the help of Detroit rapper, Angel Haze. The slow bass in the back complements the beat tastefully, leading way to the slower paced “Push.”
This is Jonas’ attempt at avoiding the shallow happy-go-lucky nature of the previous catchy pop singles, but the falsetto never fails to shine through. He croons for “that special girl,” or the lovey dovey song that every pop album interludes with.
An ironic follow up to the track is “I Want You,” which is dramatically different and more forceful than “Push” (and again, the irony between these two songs is insanely noticeable). “Motherfucker never loved me, motherfucker never loved me,” Jonas whines, thus branding his album officially “Parental Advisory: Explicit Content.”
An 80s-esque guitar riff accompanies the vocals and the entire song collapses into a synth-driven rock song. Jonas concludes, “I want you and nothing else, girl.”
What would a former Disney musician be without another Disney musician to accompany him? “Avalanche” features Demi Lovato, but she seems to drag down the track.
The song fades to an unmemorable and slow song you’d hear in the ending credits to a romance movie, complete with harmonies that signal immediate exit of whatever room you’re in.
However, “Nothing Would Be Better” closes the movie that is Nick Jonas’ first solo album. It seems to serve as another ending credit mellow pop song. “You know I’ll be there” Jonas assures listeners. It doesn’t necessarily close the album on a strong note, but it doesn’t make your head hurt either.
Overall, “Nick Jonas” is a promising return and beginning for the youngest Jonas Brothers band member. As a set of singles, the tracks on the album are certainly worthy of attention.
The whole album is the true epitome of catchy, well-produced feel-good pop music, but for those who are looking for the narrative, layered approach that artists like Justin Timberlake brings to their pop music, you might want to look elsewhere.
ONLY RECOMMENDED IF: You enjoy pop singles and shimmy quarter-turns.