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Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Nov 17th, 2014

Nick Jonas: Nick Jonas

nick jonasNick Jonas
Nick Jonas
(Interscope)

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If we’re getting technical, this is really Nick Jonas’s third solo album. Before the Jonas Brothers released any music, Nick, coming off his then-recent success on Broadway, released Nicholas Jonas in 2005. That album was filled with overwrought, gospel-tinged pop songs sung by the predictably small-voiced, pre-pubescent Nick. But after earning his stripes as a pop songwriter with the Jonas Brothers’ four studio albums, Nick went out on his own again with a collection of bluesy, John Mayer-styled pop tracks under the name Nick Jonas & The Administration in 2010. After the failed reunion of the Brothers last year, the youngest Jonas (if we’re not counting Frankie, and honestly, who counts Frankie?) is ready for his proper debut as a solo artist.

Nick Jonas finds the singer embracing the natural R&B timbre of his voice for sexy and sex-filled jams. The buzzword for the album is “mature,” but that seems like an easy way out. It’s “mature” in that it has cursing and explicit references to sex. It’s “mature” in that it borrows a lot from R&B and hip-hop, genres that are commonly perceived to be “mature.” But Nick’s songwriting has long been “mature” in that it exhibits a highly competent sense of pop craft. Actually, Nick Jonas, despite its self-titled implications, has the least amount of songs written by Nick Jonas of any of his albums thus far, including the album he put out when he was 13.

Expectedly, then, Nick Jonas comes across as inconsistent. Some songs, namely lead single, “Jealous,” and the Prince-grabbing “Teacher,” land extremely well. But others, particularly when his producers incorporate too much hip-hop, as on “Numb (ft. Angel Haze),” feel like they’re trying too hard. Overall, Nick Jonas is a good look for the singer. The success of “Jealous” on mainstream radio and online prove that this phase of his career can be his most successful. Hopefully, though, he’ll follow this up with a return to his strength, writing great pop songs.

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Nick Jonas: Nick Jonas