As a ’90s kid, this writer has always been a fan of boy bands. It’s like a weakness amongst many girls my age. So naturally after N*SYNC was no longer a band, I found the next boy band, which, for me, was the Jonas Brothers. (And then it was One Direction and 5SOS. Hey, don’t judge. Sometimes you just really need to listen to a group of sing catchy songs.)
With all of that said, I think one former boy band member is having a very bright start in his revamp as a solo artist.
Nick Jonas will always be a Jonas brother, thanks to genetics, but I think his solo career has finally taken off. And hey, he’s still pretty nice on the eyes too, as we have all seen from his latest “Marky-Mark”-inspired photo shoot. (I’m just going to leave these links here.)
And I mean he even took his pants off for Ellen.
The artist’s newest self-titled album captures the essence of Nick Jonas — a little bit of pop, a little bit of R&B, a lot of songwriting, and a Parental Advisory warning label.
This is not the very first album separating Nick from his brothers. Technically, his first separate album was released in 2005, and titled, “Nicholas Jonas.” He was only 13 at the time, and no, I did not have that album.
Five years later, Nick Jonas & the Administration released the album “Who I Am.” To be honest, I only had the title song from the album. But it was still very much a Jonas Brothers-esque type of tune for the 18-year-old artist.
But, now, Nick Jonas is his own man, with his own sound and his own style.
“I came in really wanting to make a record that was different from anything I’d done in the past, but that was true to my influences: Stevie Wonder, Prince, Bee Gees,” Jonas said in an interview with TIME magazine. “And then, more recently, The Weeknd and Frank Ocean. That whole vibe of alternative R&B/pop. It just fell into a really natural place really early. To the point where we were six songs in, like, ‘Oh, we have a record taking shape.’ I came in really sure of what I wanted to do.”
The second single “Jealous” climbed its way up the charts on iTunes almost immediately after its release. And even after One Direction’s new album being released the song is still No. 11 on the charts, as of today.
The single has a beat reminiscent of Drake’s “Hold On We’re Going Home,” and, I mean, what girl wouldn’t want Nick Jonas singing about him getting jealous over her?
Jonas helped write the song, like most of the tracks on this album. (And by the way, the gospel version of “Jealous” gave me chills. It’s worth a listen.)
I like just about every track on this album. Each song has it’s own sound and I think you can definitely pick up on Jonas’ influences for this album. He puts his falsetto to good use a la Prince or the Bee Gees.
Taylor Swift is a fan of “Santa Barbara,” and she describes the song way better than I could.
Drove back into the city listening to @nickjonas ‘Santa Barbara’ cause it’s like a combo of Bon Iver and the way Christmas time should feel.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 14, 2014
Jonas pairs up with former Disney costar, Demi Lovato, for a duet on “Avalanche.” Jonas even partners with Mike Posner for the final song on the album, “Closer.”
Nothing on this album feels like it’s forced. I don’t get the impression that Nick Jonas is changing his image purely to sell albums, but to me, it’s really just him coming into his own as an artist.
“Nick Jonas” is worth listening to, especially if you like a nice blend of R&B beats with more personal lyrics behind them.
The album is also available on vinyl, which I think is pretty cool.
And Jonas is on the DirecTV show “Kingdom” too. Way to go Nick.
If you just can’t get enough of Nick Jonas, I’m sure you can find more stuff at his website.