The Jonas Brothers Are Looking Over Their Collective Shoulder

May 24th, 2009 // 9 Comments

The fourth studio album by tween juggernaut the Jonas Brothers–which has the somewhat awkward, yet also Sugababes-ish title Lines, Vines and Trying Times–comes out on June 15, less than 10 months after their previous effort, the silky-smooth A Little Bit Longer, was released to stores. Whether this is an attempt to get the record out there before every record store goes away, or before the bulk of the JBs’ fans age out of the target demo–or both–is a matter between the Walt Disney Company and its shareholders, but the first single from the album is certainly . “Paranoid,” which has references to meds and exes, possesses a sheen that recalls some of the glossiest, softest pop of the late ’80s (most notably, Icehouse’s “Electric Blue”)–and the attendant clip allows Joe Jonas to be tag-teamed by a pair of mask-wearing luchadores, which I’m sure is getting some of the fan fiction writers out there hot and bothered on this long weekend. [Dailymotion]

  1. I still don’t get them, and I suppose I never will. I think it’s the thin voices and the girlish good looks. As I’ve noted before, I could understand the hype over BSB and N’SYNC and 98 Degrees when they were popular, but I’m at a loss with the Jonai.

  2. @Varina: Yeah. Suddenly Nelson sounds incredibly masculine.

  3. @Varina: Hmm…part of your problem might be comparing them to bands with whom they have nothing common musically? They aren’t a “boyband” in the sense of the R&B, a capella, synchronized dancing whatever of the 90s (I’m not well versed in it – I hated it then, appreciate it now but still don’t really like it.)

    I’ve been listening to them for years…To me they are a mishmash…sort of power-garage-funk-soul-bubblegum-rock-Pop. They are heavily throwbacky to an assortment of eras depending on the song, and always sincere, but I think they make that kind of young male pop that everyone threw over at some point in the 80s in order to be whiny or deeply ironic or perform hip hop or R&B or alt-whatever (all things I appreciate as well, in their way). But it WAS missing (correct me if I’m wrong). And they are good, if you like the things they are throwing-back to (I do). They have a strong presence live, and I like their voices.

    So. Just trying to balance the community POV. :)

  4. @janinedm: Have you listened to “After the Rain” lately…cuz for some reason I did…and really, NO.

    (Kidding, Nelson, you were OK(?)…but maybe only because I loved your dad.)

  5. @ObtuseIntolerant: Yeah, but still, I think they sound pretty terrible. It’s sickeningly sweet and no matter how many power-pop dudes tell me, “No, they’re pretty good, man”, I can’t buy into a group that produces those kind of electric-acoustic guitar ballads. And I’ll listen to some BSB, by the way.

  6. I said all that, and then I listened to this song, which I like alright. Hypocrite warning!

  7. @ObtuseIntolerant: I was actually thinking of “More than Ever” when I made my comment, but I should probably watch the “After the Rain” video. I remember thinking even in the 5th grade that that was some cheap use if “Native American” imagery.

  8. @Lucas Jensen: That was very manly of you to admit that, Lucas. Nicely done.

    Oh but I disagree that the music is sickeningly sweet. They are overmarketed that way. But their music is just kinda naive and teenagery, with traditional values, like they are…lyrically and musically. It’s so far not very angsty, not in a dark way, because that’s not the way they are in actual life. I don’t see a problem with that, if they are representing an honest POV. Which I think they do (on their first album the difference between lamer songs, written primarily by adults to sound like kids, from their own songs is blatantly obvious.) So I don’t see a difference between appreciating that, from them, versus appreciating heroin-fueled music about that experience from someone who sees the world *that* way. As long as it’s honest, I’m cool. Not that you have to enjoy listening to it, of course, but I can’t stand disliking music on a relatively non-musical principle alone. (Tho I do it myself…I’m fighting it.)

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