The Jonas Brothers Find Themselves In The Middle Of A Slightly Hostile Writing Workshop

Jun 16th, 2009 // 6 Comments

Our look at the closing lines of the week’s biggest new-music reviews continues with a roundup of reactions to the Jonas Brothers’ Lines, Vines, and Trying Times, which arrives in stores today:

• ”What really circumscribes the Jonas’ otherwise sweet appeal is the limitation of their writing. The Monkees made great records because they hired brilliant writers. The Jonas Brothers cut passable ones because they won’t. How long will personal ambition (and the lure of publishing royalties) keep them hobbled this way?” [Jim Farber, New York Daily News]

• ”They write their own tunes, showing off the tricks they learned from their Stevie Wonder and Neil Diamond albums, trying U2-style rock, country and Eighties hair metal. But the weirdest moment has to be ‘Don’t Charge Me With the Crime,’ a gangsta-rap tale with police sirens, machine guns and guest star Common. Even if the Bros aren’t having any luck handling girls, they do better with guitars—and that just puts them in a long rock & roll tradition.” [Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone]

• ”The Jonas Brothers have discovered many intriguing angles for realizing their songcraft talents, but they don’t yet have perspective on a world outside the Jonas orbit. But that’s nothing a few years and a serious, mane-tearing heartbreak won’t fix one day.” [August Brown, Los Angeles Times]

• “And as for the lyrics, those metaphors only go so deep: A crumbling relationship is likened to ‘World War III,’ and ‘Turn Right’ stalls on ‘the never-ending racetrack you call life.’ ” [Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune]

  1. From reading reviews, which all seem to mention the song with the rapping and the siren and the gangsta-topic, and without listening to this album, I have decided that this is the Jonas Brothers’ Sandinista.

  2. Well, at least they are talking to them like (little, they always have to mention their various littlenesses) writers who will likely make more albums. I haven’t had the chance to listen to the album properly yet. There is MUCH fun in it but it IS a little disjointed as a song collection, but credit for not just handing out a plate of more of the same (though I loved the same).

    My immediate reaction to all of their post-Columbia albums is always, “Yeesh, tone it down a hair, John Fields”…the production, to me, doesn’t do justice to what they bring to the songs in their live performances. On the more eightiesesque songs, I think it works well enough but my live Walmart/deodorant version of “Turn Right” beats the one on the record.

    Joe sounds so great when Nick steps out from in front of him and I’d wager the same might hold true in their collective writing. Nick’s impressive but he is only 16 and he lacks all that attractive pathos and uncertainty.

    In the end though…I srsly love them.

    Also, LOL@”Sandinista”.

  3. Jonas brothers? Being taken seriously?

    Music is dead.

  4. @Arcanum: you must be new around here.

  5. @Maura: For once, I agree with a troll (except for the music is dead part).

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