The Jonas Brothers Are Kid-Tested, But Not Quite Critic-Approved

noah | August 11, 2008 10:00 am

From time to time, we like to round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews. Today’s entry is the new album from teen sensations the Jonas Brothers, whose album A Little Bit Longer hits stores tomorrow (and is probably causing lines to form outside your local Target, Wal-Mart, or other CD-supplying store as I type this).

• “Front man Joe has a pleasantly raspy voice, and the band somehow manages to steer clear of syrupy ballads you might normally associate with a Disney-sanctioned act of Christian rockers. Well, for the most part, anyway. The title track details brother Nick’s struggle with diabetes in slow motion, complete with tears and an unintentional nod to Joni Mitchell with the line, ‘You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.’ Although they attempt to wrestle with other teenage traumas, the brothers are at their best on the brilliantly mindless single ‘Burnin’ Up.’ Now if only the kids would shut up long enough to listen.” [San Francisco Chronicle]

• “Sure, lead single ‘Burnin’ Up’ is an excellent attempt at Maroon 5-style pop-funk complete with a killer Latin-percussion breakdown, and Jack Johnson will probably lightly tap himself for not coming up with ‘Love Bug’ first. But too many of these songs get bogged down in chord changes and lyrics likely to sound worn-out even to a 10-year-old. (‘You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,’ Nick sings in the title track.) I’m sure the Jonases are worn out: These little dudes work like crazy. But though Miley Cyrus manages it on her new one, making exhaustion seem interesting is no easy feat. Pick up the phone, guys–there’s a whole fleet of Disney-pop pros waiting to help.” [Village Voice]

• “Parents will be relieved to know that the Jonas Brothers are about as wholesome and innocent a band as you can hope for these days. There may not be a ton of variation in the music, but the messages are thoroughly positive and life-affirming.” [Detroit Free Press]