Nick Jonas Album Review: ‘Nick Jonas’

Nick Jonas’ self-titled album is a game changer much in the way that Future Sex/Love Sounds was for Justin Timberlake. Over the past few years, Jonas has been working to shed his boy band image, and this album and its widespread publicity are proving to do just that—RIP Jonas Brothers. That is not to say, however, that fans of the Jonas Brothers should not grab a copy Nick Jonas.

The biggest indicator of Jonas’ change from boy to man is seen in the need for a parental advisory label on the album cover, which is there to suggest strong language and depictions of sex. The profanity lasts for a mere four seconds in “I Want You” while there is a sexual undercurrent in almost all of the songs—particularly “Wilderness”—and let’s be honest, the songs are what you really want to know about.

Nick Jonas features 11 songs, and a lot of them are solid winners. “Chains” was the first single released which starts out with a hypnotizing beat similar to Beyoncé’s Fifty Shades of Grey remix of “Crazy in Love”. Then it moves in and out of a faster tempo, which ultimately leads to a great combination of vulnerability, confidence, and sensuality. “Jealous” was the second single released, and it quickly became a radio hit due to its catchy rhythm and lyrics and Jonas’ goose bumps inducing falsetto. These two singles lean towards a Pop sound, whereas the rest of the album leans toward an R&B/Soul sound.

“Teacher” has this funky yet electric vibe similar to soul and funk songs from the late 1970s and early 1980s. It’s really a song that’s looking for its own unique dance number that can be watched on YouTube over and over again. Perhaps the most exciting track, though, is the ballad “Push”. Jonas remains in falsetto range throughout the song, and while that alone is quite amazing, it’s really the raw emotion behind the words that makes this track so powerful. A listener can feel the vulnerability in every word, which leaves one to wonder why there is a lack of raw emotion with some of the other songs.

It seems like there is a disconnect between either the vocals and the beat, the vocals and lyrics, or the lyrics and the beat in songs such as “Warning”, “Take Over”, and “Nothing Would Be Better”. “Warning” is a title that packs a punch, but the song doesn’t deliver in the way one expects it to. Instead, there seems to be a battle between feelings of sadness, mellowness, and even boredom. “Take Over” has some hot lyrics, but the beat and vocals need to push themselves toward the out of control feelings of passion that the lyrics represent. The music behind “Nothing Would Be Better” overpowers Jonas’ vocals at times, which is distracting.

But these moments of disconnect should not stop one from purchasing the album because there are some winners, including the first four tracks mentioned, and also, the tracks featuring artists Angel Haze and Demi Lovato are great, too. “Numb” featuring Angel Haze is spectacularly haunting, while “Avalanche” featuring Demi Lovato is full of great harmonies and other “wow” moment in terms of vocals.

Overall, Nick Jonas is a step in the right direction for a successful solo career in music.