Artist Profile: Nick Jonas

2/02/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Jessica Bender

The Jonas Brothers don’t have the best reputation in the music business. Being known ore for their purity rings and excessive projects with Disney, the Brothers Three (Kevin, Joe and Nick) have not earned respect beyond the tweenage set. And even there it's complicated. If you’re thinking that the girls who have breakdowns at their concerts or at their meet and greets actually respect them for their “musical gifts,” you are mistaken. Together, the siblings write songs that are candy for the mind--the combination of cutesy lyrics, bubbly instrumentals and precious faces makes those of the prepubescent nature quickly addicted. When the sugar rush of the ears fades away, however, the Brothers will lose their appeal quickly and will have to find secondary careers. Just as so many boy bands before them.

Baby Jonas, Nick, is well ahead of his two older brothers in terms of landing a new gig. In between touring and filming the mediocrities that are Disney’s “JONAS” and “Camp Rock 2,” Baby Nick recruited a good chunk of Prince’s band in the 1990s, New Power Generation, and created Nick Jonas and the Administration. The end result of their debut album, Who I Am, is surprising. The under-aged star is not half-bad by his lonesome.

From the opening song, “Rose Garden,” through the rest of the 10-song album, Nick and his band take on a soulful sound that most 17-year-old artists do not have. He was quoted as saying that he wanted to model his side project after Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, but his sound resembles a purer John Mayer with a slightly higher vocal range rather than The Boss.

There certainly are some rough patches here and there, which is expected from a still-evolving side project. Baby Jonas likes to throw around his falsetto, which can be controlled and smooth (see “State of Emergency”) or absolutely cringe-worthy (see “Tonight”). Baby Jonas also thinks that he can yell like Steven Tyler and succeed. So, it's too bad he falls flat on his ass with his attempt to do so in the opening of “Conspiracy Theory.”

However, what lacks in his vocal control is redeemed in his songwriting. “Olive & An Arrow” is one of the album’s more vulnerable songs, where lines such as “She’s got a heart of gold but/Every now and then/She’ll turn to gray” makes the listener really sympathize with Jonas’ apparent heartache. The tune itself reminds me of John Mayer’s “Come Back to Bed” in terms of sound, but I don’t necessarily mind that. “Stronger (Back on the Ground)” is meant to give a glimpse of how people can help the redemption process more so than anything else, and it doesn’t hurt that a random church choir comes in later on in the song to further punctuate the point. Finally, my personal favorite off the album is “Last Time Around,” which takes on a more southern rock feel. The song has a retro feel to it, the flow of the song is the smoothest off the record, and I don’t even mind the Steven Tyler yelp at the end of the song.

All in all, Nick Jonas’ first attempt at solo stardom turns out to be relatively OK. I imagined that this album was going to be being a huge train wreck, but instead it wound up being a minor car collision. Trust me, this is a good thing. If Baby Jonas continues on with this solo gig of his, I could imagine him being more famous for his singer-songwriter skills than his stint in the Jonas Brothers. Before that happens, though, the preteen girl fans have got to go.

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  1. Natisha said...

    I Want This CD So Bad!!!!!!!!!!!!