The Jonas Brothers don't seemingly try to be anything they aren't. That works in a way on their new album but also comes with issues. For such a simple band, they create complicated reactions.
On the one hand, you kind of want to pull for them to make a great record, right? I mean, they are likable guys and those are the kind of people you want to do well. They also have a complete understanding that they are a pop band first and, maybe, only.
Only one song on the new record, simply called The Album, is longer than 3 minutes and 32 seconds. Only four songs are longer than 3 minutes anyway. Almost like the band is aware of, "Hey, you might not like this song, but don't worry, a new one is on the way very soon."
Jonas Brothers' The Album is a mixed bag of happy sounds on an empty landscape
There are certainly bright spots on the album. "Montana Sky" pops like the kind of fluff you might hear overhead (and likely will) in your local department store, but the chorus is well-produced enough that it almost forces you to want to sing along. "Waffle House" has no business being any good at all as it sounds like a Broadway song making fun of other Broadway songs, but it's just so darn happy that it feels wrong to dislike the song.
That is partly the issue with the Jonas Brothers. They strain to be so positive in a world where every day we are faced with some new dire situation that you want to listen to their records just so have some proverbial sunshine. It is clear this album was released in May as opposed to January because the album sounds like summer when people get outside and want to feel care-free. If this album were released in winter, you'd be stuck inside listening to it.
And that's the problem with the album. The brothers aren't truly going for depth of feeling (I don't think at least), but more a glancing blow at bringing light to the dark. If you are a fan of theirs, you will love this album. If you never liked the Jonas Brothers, this album is likely only going to cement that feeling.
Songs like "Wings" and "Americana" are misguided attempts at changing the overall sound of the album slightly ever so much. They aren't terrible; They are just empty. They help make this album one you might listen to once or twice in the summer of 2023, and then forget you ever bought.
But this isn't a bad record. The Jonas Brothers clearly had a vision of what they wanted to do with it - make it sound happy and summery - and for their fans, they likely succeeded. But most of everyone else, they aren't missing anything by not listening to the record.
Rating: 5 out of 10