Wednesday 22 July 2015

Nick Jonas - Nick Jonas

Nick Jonas

The fresh-faced Disney poster boy is all grown up and has started his solo career with one of the best pop tracks of the year: Jealous. The slick pop-R&B production, catchy falsetto vocals and sexy vibe give the track instant appeal, proving Jonas has the potential to be the next big male popstar, in Justin Timberlake's absence especially.

That potential is tough to sustain over a full album, however.

It starts off well, with opener Chains establishing a dark R&B tone, heavily influenced by The Weeknd, Drake, Miguel and the like (it's later given a brilliant remix on the deluxe edition). Teacher also offers a fun, funky throwback that's pure Timberlake. From here, though, the album soon dips.

The obvious R&B influences are dripping from every beat and falsetto croon, so much that Jonas' own personality never really shines through. The stomping gospel feel of Wildnerness stands out (though it's trying hard to be a OneRepublic track), as do the driving guitar rhythms of I Want You. Yet the songwriting and hooks just aren't strong enough - especially after the success of Jealous.

If anything represents his identity crisis, it's his choice of collaborators. Demi Lovato features on saccharine ballad Avalanche, whilst Angel Haze raps on the (comparatively) harder Numb. The two artists represent Jonas' clean-cut past and the gritty future he's aiming for, but at present he is torn between the two. If he's to prove successful, he needs to build upon his breakout single and establish a musical identity for himself, rather than collating popular influences.

As it stands, 'Nick Jonas' is a decent debut, but it fails to capitalise on his true potential.

It's also criminal that the Tinashé remix of Jealous is nowhere to be seen...


Listen: 'Nick Jonas' is available now.