By Janelle Pitts
With his second solo album, Nick Jonas is reminding everyone that he is no longer a member of the Jonas Brothers. Jonas abandons the bubblegum pop sound that made the Jonas Brothers successful and instead opts for a chill, R&B vibe on his self-titled record. Though it seems that Jonas wouldn’t be suited for this genre, he has successfully created an unexpectedly pleasant R&B album.
Nick Jonas was known for being the most active songwriter in his former boy-band, but surprisingly this album features many songs that Jonas was not involved in writing. “Wilderness” is an eyebrow-raising track that Jonas didn’t pen himself. “Wilderness” is blatantly about sex (“Naked as the day we were born/Did you know it could feel like this?/I’ll take your body back to the wilderness”).
Hearing Nick Jonas sing such sexually charged lyrics only brings back memories of him and his brothers promoting abstinence a few years ago. It’s still hard to take his songs about sex seriously, when he was wearing a “purity ring” not too long ago.
Jonas has two collaborations on the standard version of the album, including one with former Disney Channel costar and friend, Demi Lovato. The sixth track, “Numb” is also a notable collaboration. “Numb” is a mysterious, gritty song in which Jonas croons about a lover who plays with his heart. The song is made even better when Angel Haze delivers a well-crafted, catchy rap verse. Though the two are an unlikely pair, their talents blend together perfectly to create an amazing song. The track will definitely be well-received by radio listeners, if Jonas decides to release it as a single.
As the album nears its end, the songs start to become more heartfelt. On the eighth track, “Push,” Jonas sings most of the song in a mellow falsetto that showcases his vocal ability. The heartbroken, honest lyrics of “Push” fit perfectly with Jonas’ falsetto.
The album’s final song, “Nothing Would Be Better,” is also a great, relaxed track. It doesn’t include many vocal risks on Jonas’ part, but it seems like a good way to conclude the album. It’s not too upbeat or too slow-paced, the track is simply nice, medium-tempo song that allows the album to have a gradual finish.
It seems appropriate that this album is eponymous because Nick Jonas is reintroducing himself to the world. Jonas ultimately proves that he should at least be taken seriously as a musician. It will take some time before Nick Jonas can dissociate himself from the Disney Channel image that made him famous, but this album definitely marks the beginning of Nick Jonas’ adult career and it’s worth a listen.
Janelle Pitts is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com