Music Monday: Nick Jonas – “Nick Jonas”

In case you haven’t heard, Nick Jonas is sexy grown up now, and he definitely shows his growing maturity in his self-titled solo album that he released last month. After the (second) split of the Jonas Brothers, Nick ventured back into the music industry to release his own music as a solo artist (again). Back in 2010, Nick formed his own band, “The Administration,” during the first Jonas Brothers hiatus. With this new solo project, Nick released “Who I Am,” which took on a blue-eyed soul and blues-rock sound. His initial solo career was short lived though, and thus ventured off onto other projects.

The sound of his most recent album is a departure from anything he had previously released, both as a solo artist and as a member of the Jonas Brothers. Nick shows a more grown up side with this record, both lyrically and sonically. Last summer, the leading single, “Chains,” was released to mark the beginning of a new era in Nick Jonas’ music career, taking on a darker R&B sound, singing about being trapped in a toxic relationship. Later that summer, Jonas released a second single entitled, “Jealous,” a much more upbeat and lighthearted tune than “Chains.” Written from an honest place, “Jealous” is about the tendency of jealousy in a relationship, despite the trust and security in the relationship.

Another highlight of the record is “Teacher,” which steps away from the downbeat R&B sound that the rest of the album embodies, and goes into a more retro-funk sound. The song talks about the frustration that comes with being in a relationship, but still wanting to give it a chance. As far as instrumentation goes, the computerized sounds from a synthesizer are pushed aside and real instruments take their place, contributing to the retro and organic vibe of the song. “Wilderness” is another upbeat and catchy tune that sticks out from the rest of the record. The simplicity of the song, from the melody to the production, is what makes “Wilderness” a centerpiece of the rest of the album. Much like “Teacher,” real instruments are used throughout the song, consisting mostly of a catchy piano melodies paired with strong percussion. Where songs normally use a variety of computerized sounds, the song instead uses vocalized harmonies in their place. The use of real instruments in these two songs is a nod to his former boy band days, showcasing his unwavering musical abilities, and aptitude to incorporate such instruments into a variety of genres. Finally, the album concludes with “Nothing Would Be Better,” an optimistic track that talks about moving forward with a relationship, despite the uncertainty and brokenness of it. Jonas writes, “You’re the broken part of me that makes me whole/But so unsure.” He goes on to describe the love that they have is “doomed,” but regardless finds happiness in the relationship, and can’t think of anything better than the love they share. Furthermore, the album shows his versatility in collaborating with other entertainers in the industry. On this record, he joins forces on songs with Demi Lovato (“Avalanche”), Mike Posner (“Closer”), as well as up and coming rapper Angel Haze (“Numb”).

Despite the first short-lived solo project, “The Administration,” it is clear that this time, Nick Jonas is looking to make a permanent mark on the music industry with his growing solo career. His great talent for producing tracks and song writing, as well as his strong vocal ability are what will help push his career forward, enabling him to eventually reach the ranks of similar artists like Justin Timberlake and Usher. Although Jonas has been under the spotlight since his younger preteen days, he has aged and grown up with dignity, never losing sight of his integrity. He continues to break down the barriers of the “child star” status, and will continue to do so as he reaches “respected entertainer” status.

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