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Jonas Brothers | Happiness Begins

The grown-up teen-popsters squander their comeback by playing it too safe.

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WHO ARE THEY? The teen-pop trio of siblings whose posters adorned your sister’s bedroom wall more than a decade ago.

WHAT IS THIS? Their comeback album after a six-year hiatus — which is like, 200 years in teenage-girl terms. Though really, it’s not likehe haven’t seen and heard from them in the interim: Nick maintained a respectable solo career, Joe fronted the quirky outfit DNCE and scored a hit with Cake By the Ocean, and Kevin … well, he went into real estate and construction.

WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Well, to my ears the leadoff track and first single Sucker sounds suspiciously — if not litigiously — close to Portugal. The Man. The rest of the disc, however, is standard-issue fluff for the most part: A series of bouncy summertime singles and soulfully crooned ballads that mix dance-pop and hip-hop with R&B and reggae, then top it all with stacks of harmonies and lyrics about how much they need you, want you and love you, girl. It’s actually a shame: Some of the JoBros’ older albums actually rocked out occasionally. Too bad they squandered the chance to do something interesting and chose to play it safe instead.

WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Sappiness Reigns.

HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? Unless you are or have been a 13-year-old girl, you probably shouldn’t.

WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Wussy, sugary, hooky, ultra-commercial, faceless, uninspired, slick, shallow, romantic, formulaic.

WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? It’s all downhill after Sucker.

WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘Why the hell are you listening to the Jonas Brothers?’

HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Honestly, I can’t believe you’re even thinking about listening to it now.

IF THIS ALBUM WERE A CARNIVAL TREAT, WHAT KIND OF TREAT WOULD IT BE? Cotton candy in a plastic bag.

SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? None of the above.