Reminiscing on the Jonas Brothers: from Radio Disney to "Cool"

If you haven’t seen or heard anything about the Jonas Brothers’ reunion in the past couple of weeks, I think could reasonably suggest that you’re in the minority of internet users. There’s been so much hype around it that I found myself sitting down and listening to some of their old songs for nostalgia’s sake, which I haven’t done in a while. It made me more emotional than I would like to admit to. I was in elementary school when the Jonas Brothers were at the peak of their popularity, and while I remember a startling amount about the later half of their career, I find myself blanking on their earlier music. I wanted to fill in the gaps of my knowledge on the Jonas Brothers as a phenomenon. I decided the best way to do that was to sit down, do some research, and have a lengthy conversation (over text) with my sister - five years my senior and the closest thing I can think of to a Jonas Brothers historian - about nostalgia and the good old days of music: the mid-to-late 2000’s.

 

Me: The Jonas Brothers formed in 2005 and released their debut album It’s About Time in 2006. I honestly don’t remember much about it and I think it might be at a point … before they got a lot of traction, but that also might be my age, so correct me if I’m wrong. You were in middle school when this came out, right? Do you remember this being super popular? They were infamous in their Radio Disney days for "Year 3000," which was I think a cover of a British pop punk band, but what was your favorite track, based on what you remember of their music?

My Sister: Well, I think I became a fan after the first album dropped, but before the second did. Mom took us to Moody Gardens at one point … before they started getting big, and they asked us if we wanted to extend our stay to see them and mom was like “no, thanks” but really soon after that, I got into them. I don’t remember [It’s About Time] being super popular to be honest, but the whole time I was a fan of them my friends all really liked them and listened to them all the time. We all still bought music on iTunes for the most part then, and you couldn’t buy the first album for whatever reason, but we found ways to listen. "Mandy" is the song off that album if you’re not going for "Year 3000."

 

Me: What about Jonas Brothers, the self-titled banger of an album?

My Sister: My personal favorite on it? As much as "S.O.S." is a certified bop I think my fav is "That’s Just The Way We Roll!" I think it’s a fav among a lot of people because it was on a lot of their set lists. "When You Look Me In The Eyes" is also a fabulous song on it. But also I had lyrics to "Hold On" engraved on my iPod back in the day, so that might have been my fav back then. My flip phone was programed to play "When You Look Me In The Eyes" when my boyfriend called me.rf

 

Me: A Little Bit Longer in 2008. Do you think this is more when they started becoming more of what you would describe as a phenomenon?

My Sister: That entire album is un-ironically one of my favorite albums of all time. It is pop BRILLIANCE and I love EVERY SONG… but if I had to pick one, gun to my head, it would be "Pushin’ Me Away", even though "Burnin’ Up" is on that album. I think it got big during the self titled album but [A Little Bit Longer] is when it really hit its high and went full force. I think they did the 3D concert experience after that. I saw it in theaters and danced in my seat like a lunatic, but I think everyone else was singing and doing the same thing. It’s a vague memory, but I remember talking to a friend who said she and her friends made shirts to go see it in (A/N: I would like to recognize the Joe Bros’ absolutely iconic cover of Shania Twain’s "I’m Gonna Getcha Good" from the soundtrack to the 3D concert experience. These are moments in music history, folks).

WATCH HERE

 

Me: Their self-titled album debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200. A Little Bit Longer debuted at number 1. So did "Lines, Vines and Trying Times", their album that came out in 2009, and after that they had their own TV show on Disney. They were hugely successful, and can I just say, a real hit in our house. What did you think of the show? What was your favorite song off of LVTT?

My Sister: When LVTT came out I was going on a school trip to New York the next day, and I had to get up at like 3 am or something because it was a 6 am flight. So I made mom stay up past midnight to download the songs to my iPod so I could listen on the plane lol. I’m fairly sure I was crying to Black Keys on the flight. But to answer your question more directly I think at that point they were trying to push out of a Disney image a little bit… they were getting tired of it based on my knowledge of what they’ve said about it all. So because of that you get songs like the rap song about robbing a bank with COMMON as a feature? And there’s a song about Nick and Miley’s breakup FEATURING Miley, and then there’s "What Did I Do To Your Heart" which is very nearly a country pop song. Much Better has Taylor Swift shade in it also! Like my description of this album as a tagline would be You Can’t Make This Shit Up, but like a lot of the songs aren’t bad on the whole. Some of them… aren’t great but there’s some bops… I think it was hard to match "A Little Bit Longer" as well. There’s a lot going on there obviously lol BUT saying that I think my fav song off of it is Fly With Me…  As far as the TV show goes, I did watch it but not super religiously. Things were getting a lil iffy BTS at that point I think. Nick released his own album with Prince’s old band in February 2010 in the middle of the time they were doing the show or when it was airing at least. It was called Nick Jonas and the Administration… I liked it, and then the Jonas Brothers released a couple of singles (Pom Poms in 2013 and First Time in the same year), and they were going to go on tour and either canceled in the middle or didn’t go but eventually they broke up. It was on Good Morning America and stuff. I remember watching it (the show) though and I saw a gifset of it the other day and remembered this specific part very clearly.

 

She sent me a link to this song from an episode of JONAS that was buried somewhere in both of our subconsciouses, telling me “that kinda shows u where that was at better than anything I can say I think lol."

 

Me: Skipping ahead of their hiatus, what was your reaction to them announcing new music? What’s your opinion on Sucker, and Cool, which dropped a few days ago? (A/N: As of the time this article was written, the music video for Sucker has 98 million views on YouTube).

My Sister: Well there was a rumor a little while ago, like less than a year I think, when they were in Cuba together that they might get back together, but it turned out to be untrue, so when I heard they might get back together this time I was hesitant to get excited... but I was anyways because Nick started liking tweets about the rumors…  

It felt like I was 13 again it was WILD… but anyway I watched the live stream of the music video [for Sucker] and I think the song is a BANGER and probably one of the best songs they’ve ever released… I also think the music video is one of the best ones. Cool has a different vibe… I personally like Sucker more though. I think they both have a cohesive sound even though they’re very different, and all the aesthetics they’re putting out are very cohesive as well and I enjoy that.

 

 

So, the reviews are in, according to the fans (both new and old, but mostly old) the Jonas Brothers are doing better than ever. Not that that comes as a surprise to us. And on a final note, I decided to include another comment from my sister, the OG Jonas Brothers stan and part of my inspiration for writing this particular article.

My Sister: Idk if it’s worth it to note but I feel like from what I’ve seen the people that were fans have come back without question. Like, it’s startling how loyal the fanbase still is. There’s an interview of them from a little over a decade ago, probably 2007-2008, talking to Barbara Walters, and Nick said the fans would always be there. And Barbara was like, “all boybands think that.” And he was like, “our fans are special and they will stick around and I know that” and well… the bitch was right.