The Jonas Brothers’ sixth album is noticeably devoid of life
As the first album made since all of the Jonas Brothers became Jonas fathers, “The Album” is supposed to represent the love that they feel for their wife and kids. Unfortunately, for a record all about love and family, “The Album” is pretty devoid of life.
For starters, the incredibly imaginative album title didn’t exactly inspire the confidence that the Jonas Brothers were going for with this one. But gripes about the bland aesthetic and boring name aside, it's unclear exactly what this album is supposed to be. Is this supposed to be a series of groovy, funky songs straight out of the 70s? A fusion of pop and country? A Western-rock album so infused with Americana it makes you want to run outside and high-five the nearest bald eagle? I have no clue, and clearly, neither do the Jonas Brothers.
"Miracle," a short groovy song with the Jonas Brothers’ signature great vocals starts the album off inoffensive enough. While the bridge isn’t great, the song overall has a nice momentum to it and it doesn’t overstay its welcome – it's just 2 minutes and 21 seconds in length. This is a nice, if not memorable, start to “The Album”.
That strong start is quickly followed up by “Montana Sky,” easily the best song in the album. A nice punchy bassline is combined with effective use of guitar in the background to create a nostalgic atmosphere. The dreamy vocals are evocative of a lonely night in the Midwest, which perfectly suit its nostalgic lyrics about seeing ghosts from the past.
At this point, I thought to myself, “Wow, this album is actually pretty good!” Oh, how I was wrong. “Wings” marks the start of a precipitous decline in quality. The chorus is boring, the bridges are repetitive and the background feels like the Jonas Brothers just told an unpaid intern to “go and do some electronic stuff” with the sound. The song is disjointed and, even in an album full of misfit tracks, seems misplaced.
“Sail Away” successfully navigates away from the seas of disharmony and into the strait of monotony. Once again, the rhythms are bland and the lyrics repetitive and boring. As it turns out, there’s only a certain number of times one can repeat “sail away” until it becomes tedious. Unfortunately for the Jonas Brothers, that point is about 30 seconds before the song ends.
“Americana” and “Celebrate!” meanwhile both suffer from chronic cases of inauthenticity. They’re full of manufactured beats that almost make you want to break out into dance before it hits you just how synthetic and monotonous they really are.
Luckily for both “The Album”, and my ears, “Waffle House” is a nice oasis in this auditory desert. The piece has better pacing to it with a series of pre choruses that pull you through the song all the way to its finish. Like its title, it really does feel like the type of song that you could imagine playing in some random diner from the 70s.
“Vacation Eyes” is noticeably slower and more lyrical, a nice departure from the rest of the album. The lyrics on this track, unlike most of the others, even make sense. The song, despite being among the longest in the album, takes its time to tell its story in a satisfying way. In more good news, “Summer Baby” and “Little Bird” are both satisfying and to the point. These songs, while not as energetic as the rest of the album, are carried by their effective use of catchy choruses and fun lyrics.
Unfortunately, “Summer in the Hamptons” is up next and is truly bad. The rhythm is dull, and relies on the use of a single, repeated refrain for much of the song. Not only that, but the lyrics are incredibly repetitive. I’m not sure which one of the Joe Bros thought “sex like summer in the Hamptons” was the most brilliant lyric of all time, but just by typing out that lazy metaphor of a verse, I’ve just spoiled half the song for you.
And finally, we come upon “Walls”. “Walls” is an interesting conclusion to the album, with both energetic beats and distinctive vocals. It features some of the best instrumental work of the whole album, but still feels like it doesn’t quite mesh perfectly with the vocals. That said, everything about the song screams finality from its rock-style rhythm to its loud vocals. This wall, quite fittingly, ends this confused ride of an album.
The Jonas Brothers’ “The Album” is a confused, inconsistent series of mostly mediocre songs. Despite some outstanding pieces, most songs feel directionless and mostly empty on the inside. Rather than Jonas Brothers definitive album, I would treat “The Album” as mostly empty space which I mouse over on their profile, on my way to play “Sucker."
Alexander Liu. Hi, I'm Alex (he/him) and I'll be a staff writer for SCO this year. I'm passionate about public policy and international relations. In my free time, I enjoy drawing and watching terrible rom-coms. More »
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