Jonas Brothers fans had to wait four long years for a new album — although, that’s nothing compared to the ten-year gap between 2009’s Lines, Vines and Trying Times and the band’s 2019 comeback record Happiness Begins. Nevertheless, Friday (May 12) certainly gives major cause for celebration, the trio’s long-awaited sixth studio record The Album finally arrives, with 12 new tracks made with 80 degree weather and clear skies in mind.
Inspired by such legends soul and pop legends as Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire and the Bee Gees, The Album is saturated with bright synths and unabashed joy, as Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas profess their love for their ladies, their kids and their carefree lifestyle, making for a final product that’s poised for many hours of summer playback. It comes after months of buildup — as well as one long COVID-19 pandemic — with the guys having tested out many of the songs over the course of coast-to-coast residencies and a sold-out run at Yankee Stadium. This August, they’ll go on a proper North American tour in support of projects new and old, promising to play music from all five of their internationally-released albums.
“I hope people feel like they’re part of our journey for a moment in time,” Nick says of the band’s new era in a statement. “One of the things I always say about Jonas fans, which I think is the greatest honor ever, is that I think they’ve really allowed us to be a part of their journey. We’ve stayed true to ourselves, most
importantly, and who we are as artists, what we want to say, and what is authentic to us. I hope
people feel a part of our journey and know we’re honored to be a part of theirs.”
“Just go for it,” adds Joe, addressing first-time listeners of The Album. “Sit down with it and listen to it from start to finish. Please don’t skip any songs.”
With that, keep reading to see Billboard‘s ranking of those 12 songs from The Album below:
“Summer in the Hamptons”
To be fair, the genius of the Jonas Brothers has never lied within their poetic abilities — but “sex like summer in the Hamptons” is a pretty lazy metaphor by any standard. Especially because, rather than develop it in any meaningful way throughout the song, Kevin, Joe and Nick opt instead to just repeat it over and over. And over.
Plus, we cannot excuse this line: “I’m deep inside your sand/ A different kind of warmness.” Cringe.
“Celebrate!” is a fun song, it just feels a little empty at times. Maybe it’ll be good for certain occasions, but overall, its cheerfulness is a bit too nonspecific and sounds progressively forced throughout the song (sorry boys!).
“Americana” is probably exactly what you expect. The band mainly just plays a game of word association with the lyrics — blue jeans! Springsteen! — but it works well enough. The third verse is definitely the highlight of the song, with a nice message delivered by what sounds like Joe and Nick taking turns with each line: “My brother is your brother and my sister is your sister/ It’s all part of a bigger picture/ Arms lift up, love’s hard so love harder/ My love is your love.”
As far as the overtly summer-themed songs go on this album, “Vacation Eyes” certainly fares better than “Summer in the Hamptons” — largely thanks to its smooth, jazz-infused instrumentation and perfectly stacked vocal harmonies.
“Miracle” definitely isn’t in the race for The Album‘s best song, but as Track 1 on the listing, it is a pretty great overture for the rest of the project. It sets the listener up for the loud, vibrant sound, as well as the electronic pop embellishments and the distinct summertime vibes they can expect from the songs that follow — and because it’s best listened to as a precursor for what’s to come, it invites fans to get excited for the even better, brighter songs ahead.
In reality, it’s exceedingly difficult to imagine not just the Nick and Joe Jonas, but their A-list actress wives Priyanka Chopra and Sophie Turner actually dining — or even stepping foot — in a real-life Waffle House. But hey, it makes for a pretty good song.
“Walls” (feat. Jon Bellion)
With a cool rock vibe that balances well between classic and experimental, as well as some of the strongest lyrics on the album — “Time is a doorframe I want to go through/ As long as it leads me back to you” — “Walls” could’ve easily topped the list if only its non-instrumental parts took up more of the song.
“Sail Away” feels like a ready-made radio hit, a good song made memorable by its clever, interdependent melodies and countermelodies. None of the lyrics are likely to stick for long in the minds of casual listeners other than, of course, the words “sail away” — but in this case, that’s more than enough to still be a song people fondly turn up when it comes on in the car.
While Kevin has been on the fatherhood train since 2014, both Joe and Nick welcomed daughters in the time since their last album was released. “Little Bird” relies on several daddy-daughter clichés — little hands wrapped around fingers, fantasies of baby girl’s future wedding — but they’re clichés for a reason, which is that they are absolutely adorable.
Sonically, “Little Bird” provides a welcome breather from the heavy electro-pop direction of the rest of the album. The guys alternate singing personal lyrics that soar beautifully over acoustic guitar, with fans cheering them on in the background (it’s either a live take, possibly from their Broadway mini-residency, or it was made to sound that way by sampling their well-earned applause).
This track finds the Jonas Brothers doing what they do best. It’s hooky, easy-going, and written with solid, thematic lyrics that serve to set the chorus up to shine every time it comes around. Marked by smooth, full-band harmonies with just the right amount of stylistic Auto-Tune, “Montana Sky” nails the grounded effortlessness that “Americana” doesn’t fully reach.
“Summer Baby” pulls off a certain je ne sais quoi element that’s essential for a truly great song of the summer contender, something obvious hopefuls “Summer in the Hamptons” and “Vacation Eyes” couldn’t quite achieve. It’s sunny, catchy and fun, and easy to imagine in the background of thousands of summer-themed TikToks this year. If any of the tracks on The Album have the power to come close to the massive success of the Jo Bros’ Billboard Hot 100-topping smash “Sucker,” it’s this one.
Released nearly three months ahead of The Album, “Wings” is definitely single material. It hits a rare sweet spot of being both relaxed and contagiously danceable at the same time, with a great retro-inspired sound thanks to a funky slap bass that eventually gives way to a delightful, half-tempo midsection. Simply put, it’s just an all-around good song, and one of the Jonas Brothers’ career bests.